Borton Fruit, Yakima (google street view)
Borton Fruit, Yakima (google street view)

Washington State Labor and Industries announced Thursday, December 7th, a Yakima-area fruit grower has been fined in connection with two fatalities this year.

 Two workers died in tractor rollover accidents.

Borton and Sons is a long-time fruit grower year Yakima and has been in business since 1912.  According to L & I,  on |May 7th of this year a worker named Gilberto Padilla was driving a company tractor on a county road when the counterweights used to stabilize the tractor fell off.

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Padilla ran over them, causing the tractor to roll.  Officials say required safety protocols, including a rollbar and safety panels to avoid allowing the driver to be crushed were not properly being used. He was also not wearing a seatbelt. He died in the accident.

Then, a month later in June, Oscar Rodriguez-Olivera was applying chemicals using a tow-behind sprayer. He was headed down a hill, then according to witnesses, made an abrupt left turn and the tractor rolled.  L & I said the same Roll Over Protection Structure (ROPS) features were not in place, and he also died in the accident.

L & I considered these to be a "serious" safety violation:

" L&I also cited the violations as “serious” because the issues could, and in this case did, lead to serious injury or death.

The combined fine is $290,000. The company is appealing both cases."


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