2 Oct 2015

Logging company pays $130k for death of worker

8:02 pm on 2 October 2015

A Tokoroa logging company has been fined $25,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $105,000 following the death of a forestry worker in 2013.

Maryanne Butler-Finlay and her son Charles Finlay Jnr

Maryanne Butler-Finlay and her son Charles Finlay Jnr. Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae

Charles Finlay, who was 45, died after being hit on the head by a log.

The company, M and A Cross Limited, was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court this afternoon.

It had pleaded guilty under the Health and Safety and Employment Act to failing to ensure Mr Finlay was wearing protective equipment.

The court heard protection gear was available but for an unknown reason Mr Finlay was not wearing any. He was described as a trusted and safety conscious worker.

The Judge said the accident was a one-off failure by the company and not systematic.

Maryanne Butler-Finlay said making sure her husband was not blamed for his death had been paramount for the family.

"It's always been about just trying to clear his name and make sure the industry itself is safer for everybody.

"And I think that we've attained that, there's still a long way to go but the industry is certainly changing."

The prosecution was brought by the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) after Worksafe New Zealand declined to lay charges.

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