An employee has died in a workplace accident after a log fell out of an overloaded dump truck.

The District Court convicted the employer under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to ensure the safety of the victim.

WorkSafe New Zealand found that the employer failed to have an alternative method of carrying the logs and also failed to ensure that the logs remained below the level of the sides of the truck.

The employer could have extended the sides of the log compartment and put in place a safety procedure which recorded in the company hazard register the risk of logs falling out of the truck.

The employer was fined almost $40,000, and was ordered to pay over $97,000 in reparations to the employee’s widow for emotional harm. 

Since the accident, the employer has implemented a series of operational changes in the workplace to improve safety.