Fatality: Contractor to pay $365k reparations

Wednesday 14 Oct 2020

Company must pay $365k in reparations after death of forestry worker in Northland -A company’s failure to assess risks on a wood block resulted in the death of a forest worker, a court has found.

In May 2017, Sullivan Contractors 2005 Limited were engaged by Asian Natural Resources Limited to harvest a wood block in Northland.

While workers were felling the trees, a man who had been using a chainsaw to manually cut them down was found unresponsive, underneath a tree, with fatal crushing injuries.

There were no witnesses to the event, but a WorkSafe investigation found it was likely a tree the worker had felled had brushed past a dead tree, causing the dead tree to uproot and fall, pinning him to the ground.

“The number of dead trees in the block should have been properly considered for the risk they posed and proper ways of working around them should have been managed.

“WorkSafe guidance recommends that dead trees be machine-felled where possible before manual felling takes place.”

Sullivan Contractors 2005 Limited was sentenced at the Whangārei District Court on Tuesday.

The company was ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 and reparation of $365,225 to the victim’s family.

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Source: Stuff

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