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Prosecution Details

Defendant Crystal Brook Vineyards Pty Ltd
Section 19(1) and 19(7)
Offence Date Friday, 6 April 2001
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer, failed, so far as was practicable, to provide and maintain a working environment in which its employees were not exposed to hazards and by the failure caused serious harm to an employee.

Background Details

The defendant operated a vineyard in Narrikup.

On 6 April 2001 three employees were involved in harvesting grapes using a Gregoire G65 HD grape harvester. One of the employees was driving the tractor pulling the harvester, one was walking behind the harvester and the third was being trained.

During harvesting the harvester became blocked on the side elevator. One of the employees contacted the tractor driver who stopped the tractor and turned off the harvester. The employee then climbed the harvester to clear the blockage. The harvester top was fitted with a platform with safety rails.

To clear the blockage from the side elevator the employee had to move from the platform to the conveyor belt. The employee had to step through the handrails down to the machine where the blockage was. There were no handrails in this area. While attempting to clear the blockage the employee lost his balance and fell approximately three metres to the ground below. He landed on his head and as a result of severe spinal injuries became a quadriplegic.

The defendant pleaded guilty. The penalty was imposed under section 19(7).

Outcome Summary


Conviction Date 09 Jul 2002
Court Albany
Fine $25,000
Costs $600
Charge Number 1940/01