Dairy farming company fined $280,000 after migrant worker crushed by trailer

The company received the fine in the Ashburton District Court on Tuesday.
The company received the fine in the Ashburton District Court on Tuesday. Photo credit: File / Getty

A dairy farming company has been fined more than $280,000 after a worker was crushed by a trailer in 2018.

Sidogg Investments Limited received the fine of $281,250 in the Ashburton District Court on Tuesday.

The injured worker was standing on the drawbar of a trailer being pulled by an SUV at the time of the accident.

After slipping from the drawbar they were drawn underneath the trailer and run over by the moving vehicle.

"The victim was left with spinal injuries, pelvic and rib fractures and his life has changed immeasurably as a result of the incident," WorkSafe said on Wednesday.

Steve Kelly, WorkSafe's chief inspector, said the accident was caused in part by a failure of communication, as the migrant worker spoke English as a second language and was not aware of the danger of standing on the trailer's drawbar.

He said at the time of the incident Sidogg Investments employed a number of migrant workers and therefore should have been taking extra precautions to communicate potential risks.

"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," said Kelly.

"At any farm where workers are employed and for whom English might be a second language, employers need to take extra precautions to ensure health and safety responsibilities are being met and understood by workers.

"As an employer it is your responsibility to make sure you find ways to clearly communicate risks. Employers should not allow any work to be carried out until they are completely satisfied workers understand safe practices."

As well as the fine, the company was also ordered to pay reparations of $90,000.