The court has fined CentrePort over the death of an employee, fatally crushed by a forklift.
New Zealand port operator CentrePort Limited has been ordered to pay reparation of $15,000 and fined $60,691 over the death of employee Mark Samoa when he was fatally crushed by a forklift on 20 January 2013.
The company was sentenced in the Wellington District Court under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of their employee.
In convicting CentrePort, Judge Bill Hastings found it had failed to separate the tasks of the pedestrians and the forklift operations. He also noted that CentrePort failed to have a procedure for the interaction between the pedestrians and the forklift where bales of pulp were being destacked by forklifts and labelled by workers at the same time and in the same premises.
He found that because CentrePort failed to have such a procedure for this work, it also failed to train, supervise, implement, monitor and communicate the procedure.
"The judge was clear and so is WorkSafe. Businesses must have clear and well-understood methods of communications between workers undertaking different tasks in the same area," says Brett Murray, general manager, high hazards and specialist services.
"This fatality could have been avoided if CentrePort had a system in place to keep workers on foot well clear of workers operating heavy machinery."