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Fork Hoist death. Fines increased 10 fold

Published 10 Jun 2018

Major freight forwarding company Toll has been fined over half a million dollars by the Auckland District Court following the death of a worker in Sept 2016.

The worker, standing next to a fork hoist offloading a train died when the pallet fell while reversing.

The subsequent WorkSafe investigation found inadequate controls around the risk of fork hoist operations citing a pedestrian safety system relying on administrative controls only being ambiguous and contradictory.

This tragic incident demonstrates the magnitude of increase in fines since the new Health & Safety at Work 2015 Act when compared to a similar case in Lower Hutt only 9 months prior but came under the 1992 Act instead.

In stark contrast Tokyo Food Company was fined $52,000 plus reparations when one of their workers was killed while driving a fork hoist due to inadequate training.

The risks have not changed, but the fines have. Fork hoist operations have inherent dangers. Businesses must have identified this, put appropriate controls in place to minimise risk, and be able to prove this is the case.


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