8 Jan 2015

Port blamed for worker's death

11:09 am on 8 January 2015

Working conditions at the Wellington port have been blamed for the death of an employee crushed between two stacks of cargo.

Wellington Harbour

Wellington Harbour Photo: AFP

Mark Samoa died at CentrePort on 20 January last year and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) took the port to court over the incident.

Mr Samoa was pasting labels on two packs of pulp when a forklift driver attempted to straighten a pack that was sticking out of a stack.

Mr Samoa, who was between the stacks, was crushed and died as a result.

In the Wellington District Court, Judge Bill Hastings found that CentrePort failed to take all practical steps to ensure Mr Samoa's safety.

He said the company failed to provide a specified safe work area that excluded forklifts being operated during pasting and labelling.

It also failed to provide two-way radios during the work.

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