A FARMER who suffered an acquired brain injury after his quad bike rolled over six years ago, has become the face of a Victorian government and WorkSafe safety campaign.
David Elder, of Bethanga in north-eastern Victoria, calls himself a 'near non-survivor'.
In April 2013 a simple ride home from his neighbour's house left him in an induced coma - his skull fractured, his shoulder and ribs broken.
Mr Elder said farms were one of the last workplaces where unsafe practices and 'she'll be right' attitudes still existed.
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He said farmers needed to make creating a safe work environment a priority to protect their workers, themselves and their families from having to see them go through what he went through.
"I don't want it to happen to anyone else," Mr Elder said.
Considering where I was to where I am, I'm pretty blessed to be here.
"I still suffer tiredness and have some balance issues... and my short-term memory, if I put a set of keys down, or some pliers down when I'm fencing I'll forget where they are.
The WorkSafe campaign aims to educate farmers and workers about the dangers of quad bikes.
The Victorian government is also extending the rebate to install rollover protection on quad bikes or to substitute them for safer vehicles until September this year.
Since the rebate was first introduced in 2016, more than $4 million has been spent fitting more than 2600 operator protection devices, and assisting with 1850 purchases of alternative vehicles.
WorkSafe inspectors have issued more than 460 improvement notices on quad bikes since March 2018, 347 of which directly related to controlling the risk of rollover.
Mr Elder said it was vital farmers prevented children using quad bikes.
Workplace Safety Minister Jill Hennessy said any workplace death was one too many.
"No two rides are ever the same - it doesn't matter how experienced you are riding quad bikes, rollovers happen quickly and without warning," she said.
- This story first appeared on The Border Mail.