One of the country’s largest vegetable growers has been fined over two workplace accidents.
Covino Farms was ordered to pay $ 107,900 for failing to provide a safe workplace.
In 2015, two workers have been injured in separate incidents a few weeks apart at the company’s Longford farm.
On January 31, 2015, a worker Inderjeet Singh was run over by a seeder attached to the tractor he was driving. He suffered serious injuries and was hospitalised for two weeks.
Prosecutors from the Victorian Worksafe Authority told the court that the worker was told to check seeder while the tractor was moving.
“As he stepped down from the moving tractor he fell and has subsequently been run over by the seeder,” the prosecutors were quoted by ABC as saying.
“He proceeded to chase after the moving tractor, which was approximately 80 to 100 metres away and still moving.”
Less than a month later, a forklift driver, Peter Hulland cut his leg in an open drain as he was attempting to fix a conveyor belt on a carrot processing machine.
The farm has since replaced the grates it used on drains and banned workers from dismounting from moving tractors.
Magistrate Charles Tan considered the company’s good safety record and the fact that management at the farm implemented new safety protocols after the incidents. He, however, emphasized the seriousness of the offence.
“It could have resulted in the death of Mr. Singh,” he said.