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Company fined after worker was exposed to toxic vapour

Jul 13th 2021

Company fined after worker was exposed to toxic vapour

Mother and son killed in a tragic tractor accident. 

A coroner has deemed the deaths of a 33-year-old pregnant mother and her three-year-old son in a tractor crash a 'tragic accident'.

The woman, an experienced tractor driver, was driving the tractor with her eldest child on the families beef and lamb farm in Otago, New Zealand, in October 2018, when the tragedy unfolded. She was driving with a trailer attached to the back of the tractor to pick up a dead animal.

Investigations found that they were travelling downhill and began to skid towards a deep irrigation pond when the tractor lost control and crashed into the pond. The mother smashed the glass of the submerged tractor and freed them both, but her shirt got caught on a small cleat and sadly, both the mother and son died.

'Despite her extensive tractor driving experience, it appears that she only applied the left-hand side brake pedal with the intention of turning right in the direction of the dead animal,' the coroner said.

'However, this caused the tractor to sledge and continue tracking straight into the dam. The weight of the trailer may also have influenced the braking capability of the tractor.'

The coroner's report found no fault with the tractor but endorsed health and safety lessons in the WorkSafe report.

Read the full article on the Seven News website.


Engineering company fined $340,000 after worker was exposed to toxic vapour. 

In July 2019, a worker suffered a severe brain injury after being exposed to vapour from a hydrocarbon brake fluid while cleaning a boat at Port Nelson.

The worker was sent to do some cleaning work in one of the engine rooms of a boat being refitted at the workshop just after 9 am. He was given some rags, a one-litre pump spray bottle of hydrocarbon brake cleaner and a fan for ventilation.

The man was found unresponsive on the floor just after 10:30 am with his protective mask and PPE-issued gloves missing.  He was rushed to the hospital and admitted to the emergency department.

The marine engineering company was fined $340,000 for exposing one of its workers to the risk of toxic chemicals.

Read the original article on the stuff.co.nz website.

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