Over the past month, dairy farmers from across the South Coast have participated in tailored quad bike training aimed at improving safety on their farms.

On behalf of SafeWork NSW, Tocal College is delivering the training to 90 dairy farmers at four locations across the region.

Last week Bega dairy farmers and their workers converged on Kimber Farm to brush up on their skills to safely and effectively operate quad bikes in the week-long training program supported by major dairy industry businesses Bega Cheese, Dairy Australia and Dairy NSW.

SafeWork NSW Group Director, Regional and Response Operations, Tony Williams said the training aimed to reduce the risk of injuries from using quad bikes on farms.

“Quad bikes are a leading cause of death on Australian properties, with more than 230 deaths since 2001 and thousands more people seriously injured,” Mr Williams said.

“Every farm-related fatality and injury has a devastating impact on rural families and communities.

“Dairy farmers told us it was hard to commit to a full-day of training due to their milking schedules.

“We’ve worked with them to design a course that is delivered over a week so they can complete the training without it getting in the way of their farming duties.

“By conducting training on a dairy farm with familiar terrain, participants safe riding techniques are enhanced.”

The course, part of SafeWork NSW’s Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program, helps participants operate quad bikes safely, and to carry out routine checks and maintenance.

The Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program encourages and supports farmers to adopt a range of harm prevention strategies to protect workers, family members and themselves.

The NSW Government also offers two rebates worth up to $1,000 each towards the purchase of compliant helmets, operator protective devices, and safer side-by-side vehicles. Each farmer and farm worker that completes the free accredited quad bike training through Tocal College also receives a free helmet.

Training was also held at Bemboka and Candelo with another course to be held at Bodalla from 12-16 March.

This website has further information on the quad bike safety improvement program or call SafeWork on 13 10 50.

To register for training visit www.tocal.nsw.edu.au and to apply for rebates, visit www.nswfarmers.org.au

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