Lyttelton Port Company Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
28 August 2014
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$63,000

Safety lessons learned:
  1. Ensure machinery is maintained so that it is fit for purpose and ensure that machinery with known faults is not used.
  2. Ensure machinery is not operated contrary to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Ensure all faults with machinery are identified, reported and addressed.
  4. Where there is an alternative to working at height that alternative should be taken.
  5. Undertake a hazard and risk assessment in respect of jump starting a crane from the motor
  6. Ensure a scissor lift is not used in excess of the weight requirements.
  7. Ensure employees receive training on the use of elevated working platforms.

Defendant name:
Lyttelton Port Company Limited
 
Industry:
Postal, transport and warehousing
 
Date of offence:
28 August 2014
 
Facts in brief:
The defendant is a port company based in Christchurch. The defendant owns, leases, repairs and maintains a variety of machines from its onsite mechanical workshop.

The victim, an employee of the defendant, attempted to re-start a straddle crane. The crane was unable to be re-started using the control panel as per the instruction manual. A scissor lift was then used to lift a battery up to the straddle crane’s starter motor to jump-start it.

On the day of the incident, the left rear outrigger support on the scissor lift failed to extend, causing the scissor lift to topple backwards.

The victim was thrown from the platform towards a container which was loaded onto a truck and trailer. The victim struck the container then fell to the ground below. The cause of death was subsequently established as an impact injury to the head, causing multiple skull fractures and an acute traumatic brain injury.

Subsequent inspection of the scissor lift found that the right rear, left front and left rear outrigger housings were clogged with compressed coal dust. The platform was extended beyond its limit and there was no level indicator.
 
Offence section:
Sections 6 and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Christchurch - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$63,000
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$75,000