Log loader injury costs firm $94,000

Last updated 13:42 10/10/2012

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Carter Holt Harvey has been ordered to pay $94,000 after a forklift operator lost his leg in a collision with a 20-tonne log loader.

The timber group was fined $44,000 in the Whangarei District Court yesterday, and has to pay a further $50,000 in reparations to its employee Tamihana Aramoana.

The accident happened on November 14 last year at a Carter Holt Harvey (CHH) processing and lamination plant on Marsden Point.

Aramoana was driving a small forklift down a ramp, and came around the corner just as the log loader was rolling forward.

One of the loader's prongs entered the forklift cab and lacerated his right leg, which had to be surgically removed above the knee.

CHH pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the safety of its employee, an offence which carries a maximum fine of $250,000.

The then-Department of Labour said CHH should have ensured there was direct radio contact between the drivers at all times, and separated the ramp from operating areas.

CHH refused to comment on the case.

A Safer Workplaces report released last month by the Independent Taskforce found New Zealand's workplace safety record is twice as bad as Australia's and four times worse than Britain's.

It said the number of people injured in the workplace each year would fill Eden Park four times over.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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