Queensland farm fined $200,000 after worker fatally electrocuted

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Photo: Activedia, Pixabay

A North Queensland agriculture farm has been fined $200,000 after a worker was electrocuted while trimming avocado trees in 2016.

The 457 Visa worker aged in his 20s was electrocuted when the pruning tool he was using came into contact with live overhead electrical lines.

Cairns Magistrate Kevin Priestly said workers had been given verbal reminders about the powerlines prior to the incident, but this was deemed inadequate and more suitable safety measures should have been in place.

Magistrate Priestly said there were simple steps which should have been taken to prevent the death.

These steps could have included planting the trees well away from the three-metre powerline exclusion zone.

During sentencing, the company’s early guilty plea, its great safety record and the community’s support was taken into account.

The company was fined $200,000 plus $1596.15 in costs in the Cairns Magistrate Court, with no conviction recorded.

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