Farm worker fined $15,000

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A $15,000 fine for a New Zealand farm worker for not wearing a quad helmet could set a precedent in Australia due to the similarity in legislation.There could be possible flow-on affects to WHS on Australian farms due to similar wording in legislation.

Marlborough farmhand Rangi Holmes was fined $15,000 following an appearance at Nelson District Court last month for not wearing a helmet while riding a quad bike at work and carrying a helmetless child as a passenger.

It is believed to be the first time someone has been convicted for carrying a passenger on a work quad bike. The child, aged under 10, was also not wearing a helmet.

A herd manager on a dairy farm, Holmes, was charged under New Zealand’s Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure his own safety and that of his passenger, which echoes Australian legislation in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Workplace safety regulator WorkSafe New Zealand prosecuted Holmes after five incidents of riding a quad bike in the Rai Valley while carrying children, without a helmet, were observed over the course of 20 months from February 2012.

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