Orchard fined after worker is shot

Monday, 30 July, 2007

SafeWork SA has warned farmers to include firearm safety in their OHS after a case before the SA Industrial Relations Court last Friday.

Joyson Orchards was convicted and fined $16,000 after pleading guilty to breaching the Occupational Health Safety and Welfare Act 1986, by failing to ensure the safety of an employee at work.

The incident occurred in February 2005 when a male employee shot himself in the hand with a sawn-off .22 rifle while attempting to frighten birds away from an apple orchard at Murkbo, near Blanchetown.

The court heard the rifle had discharged as it was removed from its holster as the safety mechanism had not been engaged.

"Firearms must be treated with respect at all times, especially when they are used in a workplace such as a farm," said Michelle Patterson, executive director of SafeWork SA.

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