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Prosecution Details

Defendant Viticulture Technologies (Aust) Pty Ltd
Section 23(1)(a)
Offence Date Between 30 Sept 1999 and 7 April 2001
Description of Breach(es)

Being a person who supplied plant for use at a workplace, failed to ensure, so far as was practicable, that the design and construction of the plant was such that persons who properly used the plant were not, in doing so, exposed to a hazard and by the failure caused serious harm to a person.

Background Details

The defendant was an Australian agent for a French company that manufactures grape harvesters. On approximately 21 April 1999 the purchase of six grape harvesters was negotiated with the defendant on behalf of a number of West Australian wine producers. Three harvesters were imported from France and arrived in WA at sometime in October 1999. They were delivered to a company in Frankland, which was the service agent for the harvester, where they were assembled before being delivered to the respective purchasers. The employer of the injured person took delivery of their harvester in January 2000.

On 6 April 2001, an employee was on a grape harvester attempting to clear a 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 within the safety rails of the platform to the conveyor belt. The employee lost his balance and fell to the ground. The employee landed on his head and suffered severe spinal injuries, resulting him in becoming a quadraplegic.

The defendant pleaded not guilty. On 9 May 2003 the defendant was found guilty. On 17 July 2003 the Magistrate imposed a penalty.

Outcome Summary convicted
Conviction Date 09 May 2003
Court Albany Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $20,000
Costs $9,900
Charge Number AL1941/01