Stock truck drivers asked for bull safety ideas

BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 12:05 15/11/2010

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Experienced staff at Broadbridge Transport have been given the task of finding a safer way of unloading bulls from stock trucks, the company owner says.

The move comes after Kevin Jones, one of the company's stock drivers, was attacked and seriously injured by a "mad" bull while unloading at CMP Marlborough, near Blenheim, on Tuesday last week.

Broadbridge Transport owner Weir Broadbridge said unloading bulls was a "dangerous business" and he was racking the brains of his most experienced drivers for safer ways of unloading stock.

Four of his drivers have more than 25 years' experience on the job. "I'm going to let them come up with a solution," he said.

Mr Jones told The Marlborough Express last week he should not have been hiding behind a gate when unloading the bulls.

Mr Broadbridge said he should have left the crates, or been on top, when he released the bulls.

"He knows he made a mistake. He should not have been where he was with the bull's volatile temperament.

"You don't realise how big they are. A 650kg bull is huge. The bull was stressed before it even got on the truck."

However, the attack was unusual.

"I can't believe he got caught. At 120kg, he could almost wrestle a bull. He's a good stockman."

Mr Jones was reported to be in a comfortable condition this morning at Wairau Hospital.

Mr Jones, 50, was unloading his truck at the meatworks last Tuesday night when the bull charged at him, breaking his leg badly.

He also suffered extensive bruising and needed stitches to wounds on his face, mouth and the back of his head.

The Department of Labour says it has been called to 32 serious harm incidents involving cattle in the 12 months to November 11, including three in the Blenheim region.

A spokesman said he could not say how many of the incidents involved attacks inside trucks.

Meanwhile, the 60-year-old man who fell into a bull pen at CMP meatworks on Monday last week remains in a serious but stable condition in the Wellington Hospital intensive care unit.

It is still unclear why the man fell 2m into the pen, which contained three bulls. They did not attack him but he suffered serious head injuries in the fall.

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- The Marlborough Express

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