27 Aug 2012

Avocado harvester has to pay $85,000 over burns

9:21 pm on 27 August 2012

A harvesting company has been fined and ordered to pay $85,000 after an employee received electric shocks and was severely burnt on an avocado orchard.

Avo-Plus Ltd, which provides harvesting services to the avocado industry, appeared in Tauranga District Court on Monday on a charge laid under the Health and Safety Act.

It related to an incident last October when an employee picking avocados high in a tree received major burns to half of his body.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says the man was shocked twice by overhead powerlines, but the accident could have been prevented with the correct equipment and safety procedures.

Avo-Plus was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $75,000.