Thursday, August 18

Forklift-Related Worker Death to Cost New Zealand Company $130,000

A concrete company based in Christchurch, New Zealand will soon be paying $130,000 in fines and damages after the forklift-related death of one of its workers.

According to a 3 News article published on September 16, Anthony Wells, 47, died after being run over by a defective forklift that was being operated by a trainee with “no formal qualifications” at Busck Prestressed Concrete.

Busck Prestressed Concrete will have to pay $70,000 in fines and $60,000 in reparations for failing to take the needed steps that could have prevented the February 2013 incident, according to 3 News.

An MSN New Zealand article reports that when Worksafe New Zealand examined the forklift, they found the forklift’s headlights, front indicators, brake lights, front hazard lights, horn, screen washers and front wipers were all not functioning properly.

This, in conjunction with the poor lighting in the factory yard around 5:30 a.m., when the incident occurred, made Wells’s death “an accident waiting to happen,” one Worksafe employee told MSN New Zealand.

“Observing safety precautions when working around forklifts is vital for preventing incidents like this,” says Jennifer Taylor, Marketing Manager at Solus Group. “It is very unfortunate when the safety of personnel is not scrutinized while managing a facility’s environment.”

Worksafe also discovered that the forklift was missing a mirror and was equipped with four different brands of tires that all failed to meet tire pressure specifications, MSN New Zealand reported.

Preventing unnecessary death and injury in a workplace that deals with machinery like forklifts is an absolute must for any company — not only for avoiding fines, but for preserving the health and safety of its workers.

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