A forestry company has been ordered to pay more than $30,000 for the death of one of its crew members.
The 23-year-old worker died in a tree-felling accident near Pongaroa in northern Wairarapa in November last year.
He had no training, and was felling a tree, when it leaned into another, causing it to be "hung up".
As he cut the second tree down, the other tree freed itself and fell on him.
"This inexperienced worker – he'd only been felling trees for a week and a half – was not supervised properly by the company," Keith Stewart, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's chief inspector investigations, said.
"Combined with his lack of training, his inexperience should have been a red flag to his employer."
Taupo-based company Great Lake Harvesting Ltd was ordered to pay the victim's family $60,000 in emotional harm reparations when it was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court today.
The company was fined $67,500 in total, but the judge reduced the amount to $34,000 due to the company's financial circumstances.
The health and safety group of the ministry charged the company under the Health and Safety in Employment Act with failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of the employee.
It said Great Lake Harvesting failed to ensure the man was not exposed to hazards arising from the tree-felling operation.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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