A Marlborough logging firm has been fined $86,400 and ordered
to pay $65,000 in reparation following the death of a worker
hit by a dead branch while working in Awatere Valley.
Blacklaws Logging Limited had ceased trading since the
accident on February 17 last year and because there were
limited funds left in its account, it would pay only $20,000
of the fine imposed, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and
Employment said today.
The company's insurance company would pay the full reparation
to the victim's family.
Blenheim District Court was told that the owner of the
company and two employees were contracted to fell trees on
While they were working, a piece of dead branch broke off and
hit one man, who died at the scene, MBIE said.
The judge accepted MBIE's position that the offending was of
high culpability and that isolation of the hazard was readily
available and easy to achieve.
"It is important to ensure that hazards are not only
identified but are also well controlled. In this case,
adequate controls were not implemented to enable the
identified hazard to be managed properly.
"Ultimately, a lack of hazard control, a lack of
communication and not dealing with this hung-up branch in the
approved manner have had catastrophic consequences, resulting
in the death of a man," said MBIE Health and Safety Southern
Division general manager Francois Barton.