Firm fined over quad bike death

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A share-milking company has been fined $28,125 and ordered to pay reparations of $75,000 after a farm hand died when the quad bike he was riding rolled on top of him in Mangakino.

Holden Farms Limited pleaded guilty in the Tokoroa District Court to one charge under the Health and Safety in Employment Act of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of Gary Tantrum.

Mr Tantrum died a year ago while he was mustering cattle on a Mangakino farm. 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 chief investigator Keith Stewart said Holden Farms could have done more to protect Mr 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 areas.

"The quad bike was also carrying a sprayer with 20 litres of liquid in [it].

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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