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Court Summary - at a glance
- Ensure that machinery is adequately guarded to prevent access to the dangerous working parts;
- For example, a fixed enclosure guard should have been installed, which had safe gaps allowing materials to pass through where necessary;
- Alternatively, a distance barrier fixed guard should have been installed with adequate height and safety distance and safety trip devices, to pretend access to the nip point;
- For example, there should have been a standard operating procedure for the potato picking machine which identified the hazards
The victim had been employed by the Defendant for over 30 years. His role included driving and operating the trucks, tractors, and other machinery.
On the afternoon of 11 August 2016, the victim was operating a potato harvesting machine, used to pick up potatoes and move them into a windrow. The machine was tractor-towed and powered. A conveyor moved the crop to the rear, where two counter-rotating rollers drew in the stems of the potatoes and removed them. The potatoes were then moved into a windrow to the side via a second conveyor.
Later that evening, a worker noticed that the victim had not returned. They then noticed that the harvesting machine was not moving in the paddock. The victim was found with both of his arms up to his neck entrapped in the back of the machine in a nip point between counter-rotating rollers.
The cause of death was neck and chest compression as a result of becoming entrapped in the machine.