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Port Nelson Ltd Fined After Worker Killed

Wed, 14 Aug 2002

Port Nelson Ltd Fined After Worker Killed

Port Nelson Ltd was fined $12,000 today after a worker was killed in a workplace accident at the port last year.

$10,000 went to the victim's family. Port Nelson Ltd also made a substantial payment to the family.

"The worker fell 2.4 metres onto a concrete floor from an elevated work platform," said Mr Brian Stratford, OSH Service Manager Nelson/ Marlborough.

"The platform had been attached to a forklift and moved around in order to remove floodlights from a canopy ceiling.

"The platform had been parked with the victim standing on it and the forklift was detached, then used to offload the floodlights. The forklift then nudged the platform tipping it over.

"The company should have ensured that the platform was properly attached to the forklift at all times while there was a person on it - if it had been, it would have been almost impossible to topple."

OSH Guidelines for the Prevention of Falls require that The platform be secured to the forks in such a way it cannot tilt, slide or be displaced.

"Port Nelson Limited generally manage their core business very safely, but in this case had not adequately identified and controlled this infrequent type of activity," said Mr Stratford.

"This is a similar situation to two other very serious accidents in Nelson where OSH has prosecuted employers who have failed to adequately safely manage their irregular maintenance type activities.

"New Zealanders being harmed and killed at work is simply unacceptable.

"Everyone has the right to go to work and be safe. Companies must ensure that all workplace hazards are identified and controlled correctly, and that their safety systems are constantly reviewed and updated."

The company was sentenced at the Nelson District Court by Judge Barber.


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