Prosecution follows communication breakdown


Companies employing workers with limited English must make sure workers are trained and able to do their job safely, says WorkSafe Victoria.

These comments come after WorkSafe prosecuted a Murrayville-based potato farm for failing to ensure a worker with limited English received clear instruction and training before operating a telehandler – a machine similar to a forklift or tractor, but with a boom attached.

Mondello Farms Pty Ltd was convicted and fined $40,000 in the Mildura Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty of failing to provide instruction, information, training and supervision to its workers.

“All employees, including those whose first language is not English, need information and training to understand the risks involved in their work and enable them to do their job safely,” WorkSafe Victoria’s Acting Executive Director for Health and Safety Stan Krpan said.

“If a worker has limited English, employers may need to make an extra effort to ensure the worker is clear on the risks. This may simply involve taking a little extra time or involving a translator – which may be another worker.”

The incident occurred in 2008 when a Mondello employee, an Indian national on a study visa, lost control of the telehandler and hit a truck driver – an employee of a company contracted to transport potatoes.

WorkSafe Advisory Service
Ph: 1800 136 089

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