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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters



OSH Tracker

Department of Labour v Hawkes Bay Stevedoring Services Ltd (DC, 15/08/95)

OSH Tracker

Defendant:
Hawkes Bay Stevedoring Services
The second fatal accident on the Napier waterfront in a two-year period has resulted in a fine of $20,000 being imposed on Hawkes Bay Stevedoring Services Limited in the Napier District Court on 15 August. In March this year a company employee fell some 10 metres to his death from a container on a ship moored alongside the wharf.  The man and another worker had been lifted by crane onto the container, riding on a semi-automatic spreader bar.  The normal procedure was to use a ladder but high winds on the day had blown this over.  Safety harnesses were available but on this occasion were stored away from the loading area, while cranes with safety cages were in use in other parts of the port.  The container on which the worker was standing was still bolted to another, which caused it to jolt when the crane driver tried to lift it.  The man fell off. In prosecuting, OSH said the worker should never have been on top of the container without a harness or safety cage.  The company's defence counsel said the practice of riding spreader bars was not approved by the firm, and staff had since been issued warning notices making it clear not to do this. DC Judge Doug Tucker said the case involved medium to high culpability.  Stevedoring was an inherently dangerous industry and it was important that an awareness of serious risk to employees be kept at the forefront of the minds of employers. The firm pleaded guilty to the s6 charge of failing to ensure employee safety.  Half the fine was directed to be paid to the dead man's estate. 
Industry:
Transport and Storage
Sub-Industry:
Services to Transport
Risk:
Fall from height
Harm:
Death
Penalty Amount:
$20000.00
Reparation Amount:
$10000.00
Appeared in Safeguard issue 33

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