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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters



OSH Tracker

Department of Labour v Porter Heavy Haulage (DC, 03/07/98)

OSH Tracker

Defendant:
Porter Heavy Haulage
Failure to develop a procedure for handling irregularly-shaped objects contributed to the death of a man who was crushed while trying to load an excavator counterweight onto a truck. In the Auckland District Court on 3 July, Porter Heavy Haulage Ltd pleaded guilty to a s6 charge and was fined $20,000 after its employee used an unsuitable method of lifting the 14-tonne counterweight. All of the fine was awarded to the widow of the deceased. The accident happened in Huntly in September last year, when the deceased and a crane operator were loading a counterweight onto a transporter. The crane lifted the counterweight and placed it on its edge on the truck’s tray. The defendant’s employee disconnected the lifting chains and signalled all clear to the crane driver. Two minutes after the chains were detached the counterweight toppled off the tray, crushing the deceased who was standing on the ground. The company had no procedure for dealing with irregularly-shaped objects. In the absence of any such information the deceased tried to lift the counterweight in the same way as he had successfully done the previous week. However, it may have toppled because he had placed dunnage beneath it at places which made it unstable. Procedures could have been developed to cover hazards arising from instability and uneven surfaces. They should also have outlined procedures for moving objects, including lifting, positioning, disconnection from lifting apparatus, restraining, transporting and unloading. 
Industry:
Transport and Storage
Sub-Industry:
Road Transport
Risk:
Struck by falling object
Harm:
Death
Penalty Amount:
$20000.00
Reparation Amount:
$20000.00
Appeared in Safeguard issue 52

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