Logging company found guilty of safety breach

A logging firm has been found guilty of one health and safety charge after a worker broke his arm and leg when he was hit by a one-tonne log.

Harvestpro defended the charge in Gisborne District Court over the incident in which a cable-logger was struck by a harvested log during a hauling operation at Whakaangiangi Forest, Te Araroa on September 17, 2012.

The worker, Tau Henare, was in hospital for about two weeks with a broken arm and leg.hospitalised for about two weeks following the accident.

After a judge-alone trial, Judge Tony Adeane found the company guilty of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employee, in that it failed to take all practicable steps to ensure Mr Henare was not exposed to hazards.

He ordered a reparation report and an emotional harm report for a sentencing date yet to be determined.

Harvestpro's loader-operator told the court he was moving two logs from the landing zone to the "surge pile" or stock pile and did so in two movements.

As he made the second movement one log slipped from his grappling gear and went down a slope where it struck Mr Henare who was working 30 metres below.

The load-operator did not know whereabouts below him Mr Henare was working.

The court was told the forestry workers used a tooting system of communication to inform each other about log movements so Mr Henare and others knew when it was safe to load more logs to be winched up to the landing area.

When it was not safe, they moved.


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