Company fined $542,000 over Northland accident that left worker permanently paralysed

Source: 1News

A North Island company was fined more than $500,00 yesterday over an incident in which a worker was thrown from a boom lift, leaving him permanently paralysed.

Worksafe said in a statement this morning that Supermac Group Resources Limited was fined a total of $304,750 over the incident and was also ordered to pay reparation of $238,000 over the May 2016 incident.

The worker was unloading a boom lift from a transport at a construction site in Kerikeri, Northland when the lift slipped off and catapulted him off.

He was left paralysed from the neck down and will never walk again.

The worker had not been trained to use the lift and wasn't wearing a harnass, as is specified in the best practice guidelines for mobile elevating work platforms.

WorkSafe Chief Inspector Specialist Intervention Hayden Mander said it is critical that workers are trained to use machinery.

"We are seeing too many cases where workers are being injured because basic safety procedures laid down in industry and regulator best practice requirements are not being met," Mr Mander said.

"Risks involved in using machinery are very easy to identify, and too many businesses are failing in their duty to keep their workers safe by not putting controls in place to manage the risks.

In this case, the business should have trained the worker before he was allowed onto the machine, and should have ensured that a safety harness was available and worn.

"These are easy things to do. Supermac's failure to do them has left a worker paralysed."