Worker crushed by container swinglift

In the past two years, 10 people working in the transport, postal and warehousing sector have died while at work. Three of these deaths occurred in June 2017 and one had its sequel in the Hamilton District Court on Monday.

Transport company Altranz (2008) Ltd was sentenced after an incident that left an 18 year old worker fatally injured.

In June 2017, the worker was assisting in the unloading of shipping containers from a truck when he was crushed by the swinglift, a machine designed for lifting containers on and off the truck.

WorkSafe’s investigation found that the victim had not been inducted or trained in the safe operation of the swinglift, that Altranz had failed to establish safe work practices, and that their conduct departed from readily available industry standards and guidelines.

WorkSafe’s Head of Specialist Interventions Simon Humphries said that the victim’s life was tragically cut short due to Altranz’ failure to create a safe work environment for its workers.

“The mechanisms used to move shipping containers are designed to be strong and powerful, and a human is no contest against them.

“Too many people are dying in the transport, postal and warehousing sector. It is time for industry to front this and make some drastic changes before more lives are lost”.

Notes:

  • The starting point for the fine was $700,000. This was reduced for mitigating factors, guilty plea and limited financial capacity to $75,000.
  • Reparation of $105,000 was ordered.
  • The victim and his family’s names were supressed.
  • Altranz (2008) Limited was sentenced under sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and 2(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
    • As a PCBU the defendant was required to ensure so far as reasonably practicable the health and safety of its workers, while they were at work in the business.
  • The maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding $1,500,000.

Media contact details

For more information you can contact our Media Team using our media request form. Alternatively, you can:

Phone: 021 823 007 or

Email: media@worksafe.govt.nz