Fred Thorby died after a workplace accident early on Thursday evening. WorkSafe were notified of the incident by police last night, and an investigation into the situation is ongoing.
CEO of Potatoes New Zealand Inc, Chris Claridge, said that the accident was “a real tragedy”.
“The accident on Thursday in Moutoa is a real tragedy, and all of us at Potatoes New Zealand offer our sincere condolences and support to the family, friends, and colleagues of all those affected at this difficult time. We understand also that WorkSafe are looking into the incident, and Potatoes NZ will endeavour to assist with this however we can.”
Worker health and safety is a prime concern for the entire horticulture industry. Horticulture New Zealand CEO Mike Chapman also expressed sympathy to those involved.
“It is always expected that a worker that arrives for work in the morning will leave safely that night. Horticulture New Zealand is committed to advocating for the well-being and the health and safety of horticultural workers, and any incident like this one is a terrible tragedy.”
HortNZ works closely with WorkSafe to ensure regulations and codes meet and often exceed good practice standards.
Agricultural accident rates have decreased dramatically over the years, and fatal accidents are exceedingly rare. The prevention of accidents is of vital importance across the industry, with the introduction of new checks and practices striving to make farms safer places to work.
For further contact:
Chief Executive, Potatoes New Zealand Inc.
021 577 387