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Company Fined $15,000 After Worker Killed

The Occupational Safety and Health Service have prosecuted a Whangarei crane owner after a man died in a workplace accident last year.

Ross Richard Wyatt, trading as A J Crane Hire was convicted and fined $15,000 plus costs by Judge Tompkins at the Whangarei District Court.

"The prosecution was the result of an investigation into the tragic death of a boat owner at a boatyard in Whangarei where a catamaran was being lifted by a crane," said Richard Willis, Northland Service Manager for the Occupational Safety and Health Service.

"The boat owner was killed when the hook and block from the crane, with a combined weight of 480kg, fell on him. The boat owner had gone back onto his boat to release a mooring line and was walking across the foredeck when the accident happened."

Mr Wyatt was prosecuted as a self-employed person, under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

"This prosecution was about the crane operator's obligation to "any other person". That means any people in the vicinity of the work. Crane operators need to be especially careful about this. It is the second time this year that OSH has had a conviction involving cranes and other people who are not employees," said Mr Willis.

"It should serve as reminder that working beneath suspended loads is a very significant hazard.

"Health and safety should be an integral part of any business. Even the self employed must take a systematic approach to identifying workplace hazards and put systems in place to protect themselves and others. These systems need to be constantly reviewed and updated."


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