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Dimboola feedlot charged over worker electrocution

Worksafe Victoria has charged Harmony Operations Australia Pty Ltd after a 29-year-old man died when he was electrocuted at work.

The cattle feedlot operator has been charged after a Victorian worker was fatally electrocuted in the state's west.

The 29-year-old man died when the telehandler he was using to stack hay bales near Dimboola made contact with overhead power lines in November 2020.

Worksafe has charged Harmony Operations Australia Pty Ltd with two counts of failing to provide and maintain a working environment that was safe and without risks to health.

It's alleged the company breached sections of the occupational health and safety act by failing to establish an exclusion zone around the power lines.

The matter has been listed for a filing hearing at the Horsham Magistrates Court on November 21.

'Last October, the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) says WorkSafe is prioritising compliance over safety by not providing adequate and fit-for-purpose telehander training for farmers after proposed reforms were shelved.

VFF President Emma Germano says after nearly three (3) years of patiently working with WorkSafe on the reforms, the decision to place it on the backburner and wait for National reforms is not good enough and puts farmers’ safety at risk:

“I’m bitterly disappointed Worksafe have reneged on an undertaking to reform telehandler licencing.
“We have worked patiently with WorkSafe, participating in countless meetings, industry roundtables, reports and industry surveys, so for WorkSafe to suddenly turn around after three (3) years and say it is too hard, is a complete slap in the face.
“Safety isn’t something that should be put on hold and it’s alarming WorkSafe have decided to wait for National reforms, because it was too difficult.”

Ms Germano added the costly, time consuming and largely irrelevant training is doing little to equip farmers with the skills and knowledge they need.


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