Two companies from Taranaki have been fined a total of $71,500 after an employee suffered serious injuries when the hired machine he was operating rolled down a slope, pinning him underneath.
Taranaki Civil Construction Limited was fined $38,500 and ordered to pay $12,000 in reparation to its employee who suffered a compound fracture to his right arm and lacerations to his scalp and neck.
Graham Harris (2000) Limited, the company that hired out the roller, was fined $33,000 and ordered to pay $4,000 in reparation for failing to ensure the roller was safe to use.
The New Plymouth District Court heard that the company was working on a project in New Plymouth to improve flood defences in February this year. The employee was using a roller to compact clay at the top of the stop bank.
“The roller that the company hired was not fit for the operation – it did not have a roll over protective structure or a seat belt,” says the Department of Labour’s Taranaki Service Manager Jo Pugh.
“This type of machinery is not appropriate to use on top of a narrow stop bank of clay and it put this employee at serious risk of harm,” says Ms Pugh.
“This accident could have been prevented had some basic safety steps been followed, saving this employee from a number of operations that were required due to his injuries.”