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 $1.13million 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 11pm 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.