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Fri December 08 2023

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New Zealand steelwork company fined over fatal accident

12 Apr 19 A structural steelwork company in New Zealand has been fined NZ$250,000 (£130,000) after a worker was fatally injured by a steel beam.

Pegasus Engineering Limited was sentenced at the Christchurch District Court following the fatal incident in June 2017.  Reparations in excess of NZ$165,000 were also ordered.

The worker had been moving steel beams from work trolleys using a crane. A beam became destabilised, causing it to tip and fall toward the worker. The beam struck the worker across their left arm, the side of their torso, their neck and their head, causing fatal injuries.

A WorkSafe investigation found that Pegasus Engineering Limited did not carry out an effective risk assessment, and that the company did not consider there was a substantial risk of the beams falling over. It did not provide workers with clamps to ensure heavy steel beams were secure while on work trolleys.

“A worker has tragically lost their life because this company failed to carry out a risk assessment,” said Simon Humphries, head of specialist interventions at New Zealand’s workplace health and safety regulator, Worksafe. “A proper risk assessment involves identifying and assessing risks, eliminating or minimising risk, then monitoring the implemented control measures and reviewing systems for improvement. This serves as a reminder to all PCBUs [persons conducting a business or undertaking] to ensure proper safety procedures are always in place.”

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