Sundale Farm Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
30 March 2013
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$25,000

Safety lessons learned:
  1. Install an inhibitor switch to the gear selector so that remote operation is only achieved in low gear range.
  2. Install an emergency stop on the harvesting trailer
  3. Carry out regular preventative maintenance on the remote control components to ensure optimal working performance of the system, including the electrics, the actuators, levers, chains and the micro-switch.

Defendant name:
Sundale Farm Limited
 
Industry:
Agriculture
 
Date of offence:
30 March 2013
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant, Sundale Farm Limited, is a cropping business that crops potatoes, broccoli and barley.

His role was to cut broccoli and to operate the remote switch located at the back of the harvesting trailer when he was signally by the tractor operator to do so. The employee was asked to stop the tractor so the broccoli that had been cut and left behind could be collected.

He activated the stop switch at the rear of the trailer. However, instead of stopping, the tractor increased speed from approximately 0.3 to 6.7km per hour. The victim had run after the tractor to gain access to the operator controls on the tractor to stop it. He attempted to gain access to the controls using the steps mounted on the left hand side of the drivers operating position.

The victim was caught by the left hand rear wheel of the tractor and pulled to the ground resulting in the tractor running over him, resulting in fatal injuries.
 
Offence section:
S6 Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Pukekohe - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$25,000
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$0