Fined $1.3m for breaches

Shepparton News - Country News - - MAN’S BEST FRIEND -

The death of a chicken farm worker, killed by a fork­lift in the mid­dle of the night, has led to a liq­ui­dated Vic­to­rian com­pany be­ing fined $1.13 mil­lion for work­place breaches.

The con­tract­ing business, which for­merly op­er­ated as CK Crouch Pty Ltd, was last week found guilty in the Gee­long Mag­is­trates’ Court of breach­ing oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety laws af­ter the worker died on a farm at Leth­bridge in Novem­ber 2015, WorkSafe Vic­to­ria said.

Work­ers were catch­ing and load­ing chick­ens for trans­port us­ing the fork­lift at 11 pm when the 41-year-old man, wear­ing dark cloth­ing, was struck.

He suf­fered se­ri­ous chest, spine and pelvis in­juries and died at the scene.

The court was told there was a risk of se­ri­ous in­jury or death to em­ploy­ees work­ing near a mov­ing fork­lift with min­i­mal light, WorkSafe said af­ter the hear­ing.

Lawyers ar­gued that em­ploy­ees were not aware of com­pany pro­ce­dures for safety around fork­lifts, and catch­ing and load­ing chick­ens.

‘‘This com­pany had safety pro­ce­dures writ­ten down and even il­lus­trated in a di­a­gram,’’ WorkSafe’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of health and safety Marnie Wil­liams said.

‘‘But they weren’t worth the pa­per they were on be­cause they’d pro­vided none of the information or train­ing to their em­ploy­ees.

‘‘Trag­i­cally, it cost a man his life and a fam­ily their loved one.’’

CK Crouch Pty Ltd was found guilty of two charges of fail­ing to pro­vide or main­tain safe sys­tems of work and one charge of fail­ing to pro­vide information, in­struc­tion and train­ing to em­ploy­ees.

It was or­dered to pay $3200 in le­gal costs in ad­di­tion to the fine.

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