Ninety per cent of incidents on side-by-sides involved drivers not wearing a seatbelt.

Ninety per cent of incidents on side-by-sides involved drivers not wearing a seatbelt.

Buckle up reminder to farmers who use side-by-side vehicles

Buckle up reminder to farmers who use side-by-side vehicles

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SafeWork NSW is reminding farmers that simple steps can make all the difference between a minor incident and a life-long injury - or even death.

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This is advertiser content for SafeWork NSW.

While more farmers are using side-by-side vehicles as a safer alternative to quad bikes, it is important drivers and passengers ensure safety is part of their routine by buckling up.

SafeWork NSW is reminding farmers that simple steps can make all the difference between a minor incident and a life-long injury - or even death.

Due to their increased stability, seatbelts, load capacity, and an in-built roll cage, side-by-side vehicles are becoming more popular, but there's been an increase in fatalities because people aren't taking the few seconds needed to do up their seatbelt.

According to SafeWork NSW, since 2017 they have seen an alarming nine fatalities and 10 serious injuries involving side-by-side vehicles.

In 79 per cent of these fatalities the vehicle has rolled over and in 90 per cent of these cases, the driver or passenger made the costly decision to not wear a seatbelt.

Lowther farmer, John Lowe, has taken steps to keep his workers, family and himself safe while using the vehicles.

"We regularly use our side-by-side as it is a versatile vehicle, but I also recognise that there are still risks involved if seatbelts aren't worn," John said.

"It takes three seconds to put on a seatbelt.

"Even if I have to do it 20 times a day - that adds up to one minute of my entire day.

"My life, family and workers lives are worth the time it takes to buckle up," he said.

"It may seem like a hassle but in no time at all it becomes second nature. And it's so worth it."

Dr John Crozier from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons urges drivers and passengers to think of the consequences it could have on your loved ones if you aren't wearing a seatbelt in a side-by-side vehicle.

"As doctors, we see side-by-side vehicle drivers or passengers come through the emergency room doors with horrific injuries which often have long-term implications or even result in death," Dr Crozier said.

"But we also see the devastating impact it has on families and communities.

"And the impact is long-lasting compared to the few seconds it takes to do up a seatbelt."

Training and rebates

SafeWork NSW encourages drivers and passengers to wear a helmet and seatbelt, and regularly check that seatbelts are in good working condition.

Eligible farmers and workers can sign up to free training courses that are designed to help improve drivers' safety skills, hazard and risk identification, as well as vehicle maintenance skills.

And if you get six people together - your workers, neighbours or family members - the training will come to you.

SafeWork NSW offers two rebates totaling up to $2000 for the purchase of a side-by-side vehicle. The rebate can be deducted from the purchase price when farmers buy select side-by-side vehicles, reducing the out-of-pocket cost to farmers and simplifying the process.

SafeWork NSW also offers rebates to improve safety on-farm, including quad bike roll bars, drones and helmets.

For more information on training, rebates and side-by-side vehicle safety visit safework.nsw.gov.au

This is advertiser content for SafeWork NSW.

The story Buckle up reminder to farmers who use side-by-side vehicles first appeared on Central Western Daily.

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