Worksafe NZ has accepted an enforceable undertaking from engineering and infrastructure company Opus International Consultants Limited (trading as ‘WSP Opus’).
The enforceable undertaking was granted following an incident in February 2017, when scaffolding collapsed underneath Auckland’s Panmure Bridge and six workers fell into the water below them. Although one worker was trapped on the scaffolding, all escaped the scene without serious injury.
Tractors are an integral part of farm businesses, but they are also a key contributor to our agricultural industry’s unacceptable number of farm deaths. In the last six years, 30 New Zealanders have died while using them.
WorkSafe is warning farmers that they are legally required to have an effective way of identifying and managing the risks involved in their work on farms. This includes the risks involved in the use of vehicles.
The message follows the sentencing of Scott Alexander McRae in the North Shore District Court last week, after a worker on his Wellsford farm was killed in a tractor incident in December 2016.
The worker was driving a tractor and towing a trailer carrying two bales of bailage when he lost traction on a sloped piece of land. The tractor and trailer jackknifed, resulting in the tractor rolling and fatally injuring the driver.
WorkSafe’s investigation found systemic failures by McRae to do a risk assessment of the entire farm and the work tasks taking place on it. It also found that he had failed to identify the need for a maintained and effective roll over protection on the tractor, after it was found to be severely corroded. This was contrary to guidance on roll over protective structures on tractors.
In the last three months, four manufacturing companies have been sentenced under the Health and Safety at Work Act on charges for inadequately guarding machinery. So far this year, 11 manufacturing companies have been sentenced for machine guarding failures.
The latest was All Flex Packaging Limited, a company that provides packaging, film and print services to the food industry. They were sentenced in the Manukau District Court this month following an incident in January 2017. A worker was operating machinery at their Wiri factory, when his right hand was pulled into an exposed nip point between two rollers. The worker’s hand was crushed and he suffered both degloving injuries and fractures to his hand.
WorkSafe found inadequate machine guarding, no risk assessment by a competent person, no Safe Operating Procedure for the machine and inadequate training for the machine operators in the use of the machine.
Worksafe NZ is reminding businesses to take their health and safety systems with them when they move or expand their operations and to treat them as a priority during the move.
The prompt follows the sentencing of Cardinal Logistics Limited after they appeared in the Christchurch District Court on Friday, following an incident that left a worker with life-changing injuries.
Cardinal Logistics provide warehousing and distribution services for importers and exporters. In September 2016, a worker was walking through the new warehouse premises when a forklift rounded a corner and crushed his body against racking. The worker sustained multiple fractures that broke his leg and arm, resulting in a 35-day stay in hospital. The injuries are ongoing, with the victim recently having his leg amputated and continuing to have ongoing medical intervention for his arm.
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