01:36 pm, Saturday 20 March, 2010
A grape picker has been crushed by a tractor near Geelong on Thursday.
The Melbourne man was working at a Sutherlands Creek vineyard when a fruit-picking tractor rolled over him.
The casual grape picker, believed to be in his 30s, suffered a punctured lung, two broken ribs, leg and abdominal injuries. He was transported to The Alfred hospital where he was declared in a stable condition.
The owner of the winery confirmed the tragic incident involving the Melbourne man, who was one of several casual workers at the vineyard.
“The tractor rolled forward and rolled onto one of our workers. We called an ambulance and they (paramedics) preferred not to move him … they weren’t sure of the nature of his injuries and they chose to airlift him to Melbourne,” he said.
“It was one of those things that happens, and it’s good that the chap’s OK but it might take him a week or two to get over his injuries.”
The owner said the man’s workmates were shaken by the incident and were sent home.
“They seemed to be OK. We decided we wouldn’t pick anymore (grapes) once it happened, so they went home.”
A WorkSafe spokesperson said a team of inspectors is investigating the incident to determine if any breach in safety procedures were committed.