An unfortunate accident on a well-known winemaker’s property should have operations talking about one aspect of worker safety. Jackson Family Wines experienced a tragic event last week as one of their long-time employees died after an apparent ATV accident. “Sadly there was tragedy in Sonoma County…but what was so striking to me about this incident and why it’s a great opportunity for a teachable moment for our agricultural employers is that this is an individual who was in ATV safety, and his employer provided him with ample personal protective equipment,” AgSafe President and CEO Amy Wolfe said.
Although it’s still uncertain to what exactly lead to the death of the individual, Wolfe said being a lone-worker was likely part of it. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said at around 8 p.m., the victim’s daughter noticed her father had not come home from work yet. She went looking for him and found him pinned under the ATV.
Wolfe said the sad incident should serve as a reminder for operations who have lone-workers. “We can’t say definitively how much the length of time played into it…but this is a fantastic example of one of the deficiencies that many agricultural employers have, and that is having a system of communication in place with your lone-workers,” she said. “Multiple regulations require this…So the concept is not new, nor is it unique.”
Stay with AgNet West and AgSafe for ideas on how to form a suitable protocol.