Worker killed at Lyttelton Port

Another man has died at Lyttelton port, this time aboard a ship.

The Maritime Union said it was mourning the death of a watersider, who was aboard a fertiliser vessel when an accident occurred yesterday.

A Maritime NZ spokesman confirmed this afternoon that the man suffered a head injury.

"There doesn't appear to be any safety issues or equipment failures that have lead up to this. It seems to be a wrong place wrong time sort of thing," the spokesman said.

"It's a pretty awful thing to have to pass on to people at this time of year."

Investigations were continuing and more information would be available tomorrow, he said.

"Until we've finished having a chat to a couple of witnesses it's hard at this stage to pin it all together."

The bulk carrier ship, Citrus Venus, had since left Lyttelton and was en route to Tauranga.  

National secretary Joe Fleetwood said the death of the worker would hit the close knit workforce and community hard.

He would be calling for a meeting with health and safety delegates, management of all port employers, Maritime New Zealand and Worksafe officials.

There were ''concerns that congestion in the port could be a contributing factor to health and safety issues" since the February 2011 earthquake.

The death is the second in the port within a month.

Contractor Bill Frost, of Coalgate, was killed in a logging truck incident on November 26.

The 58-year-old died after being pinned between a logging truck trailer and a forklift on the port's No 2 Wharf.

The Press