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An export log firm was sentenced today after a worker suffered fatal crushing injuries.

Mangere based company Guru NZ Limited was ordered to pay a fine of $330,750 at the Manukau District Court after a worker was crushed between a shipping container and the grapple of an excavator in September 2017. The worker later died from injuries sustained.

At the time of the incident the victim was helping a colleague to close doors on a container filled with logs for export. The majority of the containers were closed manually, however when containers became distorted an excavator was used to assist workers on the ground to shut its doors.

WorkSafe’s Chief Inspector Steve Kelly said WorkSafe’s investigation found no workers in this instance should have been within seven metres of the excavator while it was in use.

“The risks of crushing injuries are well-known. Workers on foot should not be in close proximity to any kind of heavy machinery,” he said.

Mr Kelly said the practice adopted by the company departed from health and safety guidelines and ended in tragedy.

“Guru NZ Limited should have ensured there was an enforced exclusion zone on site to separate workers from machinery with the ability to kill or injure.

“A lack of safe work systems has cost a worker his life and a family their father, partner and son.”

Notes:

  • A fine of $330,750 was imposed.
  • Reparation of $110,000 was ordered.
  • Guru NZ Limited was sentenced under sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and 2(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 for breach of primary duty of care by a PCBU.
  • S 48(2)(c) carries a maximum penalty of $1,500,000.

 

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