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'It happened to us' - Canterbury farmer speaks out about losing his mate in quad bike accident

A Canterbury farmer has spoken out about losing his mate in a quad bike accident in an attempt to change behaviours.

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ACC figures show hundreds of riders are being injured, costing taxpayers millions of dollars every year. Source: 1 NEWS

Dairy Holdings grazing manager Adam Mielnik told 1 NEWS that it was rough when a quad bike crushed and killed his workmate in 2019.

“No one wants to lose a team mate that's for sure and yeah it was pretty hard actually. Something we definitely don't want to have to deal with again that's for sure,” he said.

The man was one of 14 people who died in a quad accident between 2019 and February 2021.

Adam Mielnik said the death happened just before the farm’s bikes were fitted with roll over bars, which help protect people from being crushed if the bike flips.

“Oh it was gutting really, there were a lot of what if's and stuff like that. But we were already in the process of doing it, already making the changes, so it really reinforced to us that we were on the right track,” said Mr Mielnik.

The number of quadbike injuries have almost halved in the last decade, from 963 in 2010 to 566 in 2020.

Figures released by ACC show the compensation scheme paid out over $12 million in 2015 for quad injuries. The figure hit $18 million in 2020.

ACC’s Virginia Burton-Konia said they are now offering a subsidy to farmers to purchase and install the roll over bars.

“A cost effective installation of crush protection device will significantly bring down and reduce those fatalities. It's not the only thing, we know that we want good training and helmets,” she said.

Adam Mielnik wants all farmers to take advantage.

“A lot of people think it won't happen to them, but it could, it happened to us.

“You need to be able to hold your hand on your heart and know that you've done everything you can do to look after your staff, and if you can't do that then you're going to live with that for the rest of your life,” said Mielnik.