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In January of 2019, a worker was transporting cars using a trailer that was leased from Car Haulaways Limited. The worker loaded a car onto the trailer’s top deck, and while strapping it down, the wired edge protection snapped, and the worker fell three metres to the ground.
He later died in hospital from brain injuries.
WorkSafe’s Investigations Manager for South Island Steve Kelly says an investigation showed that two pieces of wire rope acting as a barrier around the trailer’s top deck was the cause.
“Testing showed these ropes were severely corroded. Our investigation also found that limited space on the trailers meant that workers had to turn sideways and push up against the wire ropes when entering and exiting vehicles and strapping down the wheels,” said Mr Kelly.
Records from the incident register recorded four falls between 2017 and 2018.
Prior reports were prepared for the business to find a proper need with maintenance on the wire ropes.
“The risk was very much on the businesses radar. They should have ensured that these wire ropes were inspected regularly and periodically replaced by a competent person to ensure they remained fit for purpose,” said Mr Kelly.
The company was ordered to pay a fine of $279,000 and a reparation of $90,000 to the victim’s family.
A maximum penalty of $1,500,000 was given following sentencing under sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and 48(2)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
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