AN ATV manufacturer has broken ranks to offer roll-over protection for sale next to its vehicles.
CFMoto will now offer the Quadbar device through its dealership across Australia, conceding crush protection for ATVs was "inevitable".
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The company is the first to endorse the sales of roll-over devices through retail outlets.
Other major manufacturers have remained not only opposed to fitting the devices but to even offering them for sale in stores.
CFMoto is the fifth-biggest manufacturer of ATVs in Australia, with its market share growing from nothing to 7 per cent in just 18 months.
It lags behind market leader Honda which has 25 per cent of the ATV market, but has 55 dealers across Australia, including 12 in Victoria.
CFMoto national sales manager Alan Collins said his company was "already unpopular" with fellow ATV manufacturers, and was likely to become more so now.
"It seems everyone has over-complicated this issue (roll-over protection), and overthinks it," he said.
"We've got our legal advice and are comfortable with it.
"At the end of the day we feel it will become inevitable and we would rather be at the forefront.
"We are not supporting mandatory fitting but we as we sell more and more units (ATVs), we feel a strong sense of responsibility for safety."
Mr Collins said the company placing a "heightened focus on quad-bike safety" led it to the partnership with Quadbar.
Fourteen people have been killed in ATV accidents this year, including two in Victoria - a 58-year-old man at Murchison and a 73-year-old man at Kialla.
Twenty-three people were killed in ATV accidents nationally last year.
Federal Workplace Safety Minister Bill Shorten said a manufacturer breaking ranks was significant.
"This casts into doubt the other manufacturers' defence (of why to not fit roll bars)," Mr Shorten said.
"There needs to be an engineered solution.
"Despite the best intentions, 13- and 14-year-old farm kids will get on these devices and so it is easier to engineer out the risk than rely on changing human behaviour."
Mr Shorten said he hoped CFMoto would gain market share from its decision.
"What they have done shows me there is consumer demand for this and, at one level, it makes good business sense to profit from safer devices," he said.
"It also shows where the debate is going."
Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety director Dr Tony Lower said the company's decision was welcome, specially given its rise in market share.
"It (fitting roll-over protection) is a sensible thing for people to do," he said.
Mr Lower said CFMoto was an increasingly important player in the market and it was "a clear sign that safety is both a major concern and an important selling point".
"We would not be surprised at all to see other companies follow this lead," Dr Lower said. "This is even more likely now that the Federal Government has (already) called for all of their quads to be fitted with crush protection or other safer vehicles to be used."
A spokesman for the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, which represents the major ATV manufacturers, said it would not change its opposition to roll-over protection.
"The best research currently available shows these types of roll-over devices can cause more trauma than they prevent," he said.
"The fact that one small importer of Chinese products has chosen to ignore this research does not change the FCAI's position."
WorkSafe health and safety executive director Ian Forsyth said it had been encouraging users "to consider crush protection so this is a positive step forward."