Company fined more than $300K after workplace incident left man paralysed

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Photo: Mdesigns, Pixabay

A company in North Island, NZ has been fined $304, 750 after a workplace incident left a worker permanently paralysed from the neck down.

The company was also ordered to pay reparation of $238,000 following the incident in May 2016.

A worker was unloading a boom lift from a transporter at a construction site Kerikeri when the boom lift slipped off the transporter. The worker was catapulted from the boom lift and was left paralysed.

The victim was not trained to use the boom lift and was not wearing a restraining harness as he was working.

WorkSafe’s Chief Inspector Specialist Interventions Hayden Mander said businesses should always make sure workers using any machinery have been trained to operate it and should follow all safety practices.

“We are seeing too many cases where workers are being injured because basic safety procedures laid down in industry and regulator best practice requirements are not being met,” said Mr. Mander.

“Risks involved in using machinery are very easy to identify, and too many businesses are failing in their duty to keep their workers safe by not putting controls in place to manage the risks. In this case, the business should have trained the worker before he was allowed onto the machine and should have ensured that a safety harness was available and worn.”

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