An employee was poisoned by carbon monoxide while sorting stock in a chiller. The employee was operating a forklift in the enclosed space when he was knocked unconscious for several hours. The employee was found on the floor and was immediately rushed to hospital. The employer paid the employee $10,000 in reparation.

The District Court charged the employer under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the employee’s health and safety at work.

WorkSafe New Zealand noted that the employer should have trained its employees on the hazard of carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of using LPG powered forklifts in a confined area.

WorkSafe also noted that the employer should have put up signage warning the employees not to use the LPG forklifts in the chillers and instead required the use of electric forklifts.

The Court fined the employer $26,000, and ordered the employer to pay the employee an additional $7,000 in reparation.