Waiariki Institute of Technology
Court Summary - at a glance
- Should not permit employees to fell trees without first assessing their competence in tree felling.
- Develop written processes around how tutors are to source wood safely, including when tree felling could occur and distribute this to all relevant tutors.
The victim instructed the students to stand near a parked van while he felled the third tree. They were standing closer than two tree-lengths away from the tree. The victim was aware of this but he thought the position was desirable as he wanted to be able to see the students.
He asked one of the students to ‘spot’ for him while he made the scarf cut on the tree due to the branch at the back of the tree. He realised that the student was in his escape route and asked him to move back to the other students.
The victim cut the right side of the back cut and inadvertently cut the hingewood off. When the final backcut was made, the tree released and fell in an unintended direction. The back branch swung around and the tree crushed his right shoulder and side.
He suffered a fractured right shoulder, severe abdomen pain, lower back fracture, lower leg fracture, fractured 5 ribs slight collapse in both lungs and cruised vertebrae.