Man killed by lift in chicken factory

2011-04-07 00:00

A 35-YEAR-OLD worker at the Rainbow Chicken Farm near Durban was killed yesterday morning when he was crushed by a bird module lift.

The bird module lift is a lift that carries chickens coming in crates from the farms to the appropriate floor levels at the factory.

According to information provided by Rainbow Chicken Farms, the cause of the accident was human error. The worker allegedly disregarded protocol and safety procedures meant to be followed when operating the bird module lift.

Stephen Heath the Group HR and Corporate Affairs Director at Rainbow Chicken Farm said from the information they have gathered, a chicken had fallen out while they were being lifted. The correct safety procedure would be to stop the lift and use a long metal hook to retrieve that chicken.

“However, we learned that the worker who is quite experienced as he has been working for the company for the past three years did not follow this procedure.

“Instead of stopping the lift and using the hook to retrieve the chicken, he tried to climb on the lift and was killed.”

Heath said the worker had earlier been warned by his supervisor not to try and climb onto the lift. “We have also learned that earlier in the same morning he tried to climb on top of the chicken lift, however, his supervisor was there and he stopped him.

“When the supervisor walked away he climbed back in again and that is when the accident happened; we believe that he was trying to bypass the safety procedure and get in and out quickly.”

“At this stage the police are conducting tests to establish if the worker was under the influence.”

Chris Botha of Netcare 911 said when their paramedics arrived at the scene, they found fellow workers trying to revive the man. He said after the paramedics examined the man they found that he had died due to the extensive injuries that he had sustained.

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