Warehousing sector urged to improve workplace safety

Abstract Blurred Boxes On Rows Of ShelvesThe transport, postal and warehousing sector needs to make drastic changes to prevent serious injury and lost lives, WorkSafe NZ has warned.

“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,” the government body said in a statement.

According to WorkSafe NZ, 10 people have died at work in the past two years in this sector. Three of these deaths occurred in June 2017, one of which resulted in the sentencing of transport company, Altranz, in the Hamilton District Court on Monday.

The sentencing related to an incident in June 2017 that left an 18-year-old worker fatally injured, when he was crushed by the swinglift, a machine designed for lifting containers on and off trucks.

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’s 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,” he said.

Altranz was fined $75,000 and ordered to pay $105,000 in reparation.

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