Fine over quad bike death

Last updated 07:04 12/03/2014

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A share-milking company has been ordered to pay more than $100,000 after a farm worker died in a quad bike accident.

Holden Farms was fined $28,125 when it pleaded guilty in the Tokoroa District Court yesterday to one charge under the Health and Safety in Employment Act of failing to take all practical steps to ensure the safety of the worker, Gary Tantrum.

The company was also ordered to pay reparations of $75,000.

Tantrum died a year ago today while he was mustering cattle on a farm at Mangakino in Waikato. His quad bike rolled while he was riding up a steep slope. It fell on top of him, crushing him and causing fatal injuries.

WorkSafe's chief investigator, Keith Stewart, said after the sentencing that the company could have done more to protect Tantrum.

"The area he was riding in had been identified as a hazard, but the company had not taken any action to tell its workers not to ride quad bikes there, or in other hazardous area," he said.

"The quad bike was also carrying a sprayer with 20 litres of liquid in. That would have affected its stability and could also have restricted the 'active riding' required for quad bikes.

"There is no evidence the sprayer caused the accident, but it was a hazard that should have been identified and managed.

"Quad bikes are inherently dangerous. Every year an average of 850 people are injured while riding them on farms. Everyone needs to do their bit to ensure they are used as safely as possible."

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