Farmer fined $70K over worker’s death

WorkSafe New Zealand is warning farmers that they are required legally to establish an effective way of identifying and managing risks on farm work following the sentencing of a farmer after a worker on his Wellsford farm died in a tractor incident in 2016.

The victim was driving a tractor and towing a trailer when he lost traction on a sloped piece of land. The tractor and trailer jackknifed, resulting in the tractor rolling and fatally injuring the victim.

An investigation into the incident found failures by the farmer to do a risk assessment of the entire farm and the work tasks taking place on it. The farmer also failed to identify the need for a maintained and effective rollover protection on the tractor, after it was found that it was severely corroded.

“A health and safety system helps you as an employer to identify the risks that might kill or seriously injure yourself, your workers and others on your farm. It’s not about adding paperwork or having more work to do. It’s about incorporating it in what you do every day and ensuring that everyone can head home healthy and safe at the end of it.”

“The failures on behalf of the duty holder showed a general lack engagement in health and safety matters. There were shortcomings throughout the operation and this is a tragic instance where these failures have been realised.”

A fine of $ 70,000 was imposed. Reparations of $ 130,000 were ordered.

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