A virtual reality training experience which simulates a quad bike accident was unveiled on Tuesday.
Officially launched by Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean at the NSW Farmers Association annual conference, the aim of the program is to help keep farmers safe.
The new virtual reality experience is part of SafeWork NSW’s $3.7 million Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program.
“Quad bikes continue to be the biggest killer on Australian farms, with 118 people killed since 2011, including 33 in NSW,” Mr Kean said.
Cudal farmer Tim Carroll experienced first-hand the new technology and said it was “unbelievable.”
“It was very confronting,” he said.
“It made me realise how easily an incident can happen on a quad bike.”
Mr Carroll said he believes the virtual reality experience will give a huge benefit to any farmer who utilises it.
“The beauty of that (virtual reality) experience to me is that it’s already making me think differently about how I would operate that machine…,” he said.
Mr Kean said the Government has a range of measures in place to help keep farmers safe, but is always looking for new ways to help drive down injuries and fatalities.
“Sometimes Governments need to think outside the box, and this new program does just that by giving farmers a unique virtual insight into how quickly a quad bike can roll over, and the real impact it can have on their livelihood,” Mr Kean said.
“It’s also a stark reminder that when farmers gets injured it effects not just them, but also their family, and everyone else working around them on the farm.”
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SafeWork NSW will debut the program, which was developed by Australian company VR Technologies, at AgQuip in Gunnedah next month, before taking it on the road to regional events and field days across the state.
“I encourage all farmers to have a crack at the virtual reality experience when attending your local field days. It might just save your life,” Mr Kean said.
The state-wide quad bike safety program also offers two rebates, worth up to $1,000 each, to replace existing quad bikes or have it fitted with safety equipment like roll bars, as well as free accredited quad bike training.
Those who complete the training, also receive a free helmet.
Since its launch, NSW Farmers have invested more than $22 million dollars in safety improvements, and more than 850 farmers and farm workers have completed training.
For further information on quad bike safety, visit www.safework.nsw.gov.au or call 13 10 50.