A young New Zealand worker had only been on the job for two days when he was crushed by a six-tonne truck at a mechanics workshop in Cambridge.
The operator of the workshop, GTT Mechanical 2018 Ltd were sentenced in the Hamilton District Court this week, after WorkSafe New Zealand investigated the incident from November 2018.
According to WorkSafe’s Acting Chief Inspector, Danielle Henry, “the worker was a trainee and was unsupervised at the time of the incident. The task he had been asked to complete included removing parts of the truck which disabled the Cardan shaft hand brake.
“The truck had been driven onto wooden blocks to allow the worker access underneath it, creating a hazardous environment. The truck was located on a slight incline leading to it rolling off the wooden blocks and onto the worker,” she said.
“You must use the correct equipment when working underneath vehicles. In this case, axle stands or a vehicle hoist would have been most appropriate – not stacks of wooden blocks.”
The investigation by WorkSafe revealed a number of health and safety failings and the severity of the injuries sustained by the worker.
“The victim suffered from fractures to his ribs, pelvis and sternum, a punctured lung and nerve damage and spent almost two months in hospital.
“The worker was considered a trainee, yet the company had no formal training programme in place to monitor, supervise and progress them in their work.”
GTT Mechanical 2018 Ltd was sentenced under sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and 2(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and fined $20,000.