Dairy farming business fined after worker crushed by trailer

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An Ashburton dairy farming company has been fined almost $300,000 for failing to ensure migrant workers understood health and safety risks.

dairy cows grazing in a field with New Zealand mountain in the distance

Farming employers need to take extra precautions when they employ migrant workers who have English as a second language, WorkSafe says. Photo: 123RF

The fine came after WorkSafe investigated Sidogg Investments Limited, after a worker was crushed by a trailer in September 2018.

The victim was left with spinal injuries, and pelvic and rib fractures.

The company was fined $281,250 in the Ashburton District Court yesterday .

WorkSafe’s chief inspector Steve Kelly said the victim, a migrant worker with English as his second language, was not aware that standing on the drawbar of the trailer was a hazard.

The worker slipped from the drawbar and was drawn underneath the trailer and run over by the moving wheels.

“WorkSafe’s investigation found it was common practice for calf collection workers to stand on the drawbar, but this absolutely should not have been allowed.”

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Kelly said at any farm where English might be a second language for workers, employers needed to take extra precautions to ensure workers met and understood health and safety responsibilities.

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