Forklift company fined $44k for death
Thu, 26 Jul 2012 12:48p.m.
An Auckland forklift company has been fined $44,600 after one of its workers was killed when a 239-tonne forklift he was working under fell on him.
Harry George, 67, was servicing the large forklift, used to move shipping containers, when it slipped from supports while being serviced at a Mt Wellington container yard in September last year.
Mr George was caught under the front axle and died at the scene.
In Auckland District Court on Thursday Fowlers Machinery was fined $44,600 under health and safety legislation.
The maximum fine is $250,000.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's John Howard said the tragic accident served as a warning for all employers and their employees tasked with carrying out hazardous work.
"There is simply no room for complacency," he said.
It was thought the forklift, which had its front left wheels removed and was propped up by its lifting mast, may have slipped down onto a metal pipe that had been used to get the wheel nuts off. The pipe may have acted as a pivot to make the forklift unstable and it moved off its support blocks.
The wooden support blocks may also have split.
Mr Howard said a safety-first attitude and culture would have prevented an unnecessary fatality.
"It would have ensured the company used the correct equipment for the job, including appropriate support blocks, wheel chocks, and blocks or chains for securing the elevated mast."
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