NZ Forklift crushing death “a tragedy waiting to happen”

Christchurch concrete manufacturer Busck has been made to pay $NZ
130,000 over the death of a 47-year-old who was crushed by a forklift last year
in February.

Radio NZ and others report that Busck Prestressed Concrete was ordered by the
Christchurch District Court yesterday to pay a $70,000 fine and $60,000 in
reparations over the accident.

Worksafe
New Zealand called the collection of safety issues “completely unacceptable”
and “a tragedy waiting to happen”.

The victim,
Anthony Wells, died within minutes, according to TVNZ.

TVNZ also notes that, “The issues included the fact that the
headlights, front indicators, brake lights, front hazard lights, horn, screen
washers and front wipers were not working.” Its tyres were also four
different brands inflated at four different pressure levels.

The telehandler was configured as a forklift, and was driven at the time without its field
lights on by a trainee with no qualifications.

“This is a 6.5 tonne vehicle used to
move heavy concrete railway sleepers around – it should have been properly
maintained to ensure it was safe to use,” said Keith Stewart, WorkSafe New Zealand’s Chief Investigator, according to Fairfax Media.

“Busck Prestressed Concrete also
failed in its duty to maintain the lighting to ensure it was safe to work in
dark conditions. This accident happened at 5:30 in the morning – if the lights
weren’t adequate it should not have had its workers out in the yard.”

Image: PHOTO NZ