A mechanical firm has been ordered to pay $20,000 after an untrained employee was seriously injured when he was crushed by the six tonne truck he was working beneath.
The young worker was only on his second day on the job at the workshop in Cambridge, in the north of New Zealand.
The trainee, who was unsupervised at the time of the incident, had been asked to remove parts of the truck which disabled the cardan shaft hand brake.
The truck had been driven onto wooden blocks to allow the worker access underneath it. The truck was on a slight incline, and it rolled off the blocks onto him.
Hamilton District Court was told by Worksafe investigators that axle stands or a vehicle hoist should have been used for the task, rather than stacks of wooden blocks.
The victim sustained fractures to his ribs, pelvis and sternum, a punctured lung and nerve damage and spent almost two months in hospital.
Earlier this month, GTT Mechanical 2018 Ltd was convicted of breaching sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and 2(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. While the judge considered a starting point for the fine to be $400,000, after considering all other matters, he imposed a fine of $20,000.
WorkSafe’s acting chief inspector Danielle Henry said the regulator’s investigation identified a number of health and safety failings arising out of the incident which left the worker seriously injured.
“The worker was considered a trainee, yet the company had no formal training programme in place to monitor, supervise and progress them in their work.”
“Working with heavy machinery is dangerous stuff and to expose an inexperienced worker to that level of risk, without appropriate mitigation or training is totally unacceptable.”