28 Aug 2012

Big fine for orchard incident

6:29 am on 28 August 2012

An avocado harvesting company has been fined $10,000 and ordered to pay $75,000 reparation to a worker who was seriously burned by overhead power lines at a Bay of Plenty avocado orchard last year.

Avo-Plus Ltd was sentenced in Tauranga District Court on Monday.

The court heard the man was operating an elevated working platforms, picking avocados high in a tree when he received major electrical and flame burns to about half of his body.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment says the company should have taken precautions that included identifying an exclusion zone under and next to the power lines, and enforcing a clear rule that no avocados were to be picked within 4m of lines.