Dredging NZ fined over death

  • 22/07/2015
Dredging NZ fined over death

An Auckland-based dredging company has been ordered pay more than $120,000 after a worker was crushed to death.

Dredging NZ was fined $79,500 and ordered to pay $42,000 in reparation after the death of Peter Bateman in November 2013 at Auckland's West Park Marina.

Mr Bateman was killed when he hopped on a barge to get a lift back to the wharf and was crushed between its excavator arm and a hopper. The barge's skipper, Brent Darrach has already been fined $10,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $18,000.

Dredging NZ was sentenced on Tuesday in Auckland District Court after pleading guilty to a charge laid by Maritime New Zealand.

Dredging NZ had no protocols for operation of the vessels, particularly where passengers were involved, and there was no designated area for them aboard, Maritime NZ says.

"The danger zone within the turning area of excavator was not marked on the barge and Mr Bateman was standing within this area when the accident occurred," said director Keith Manch.

The company could alternatively have had a policy ensuring that passengers were not carried on working barges, he said.

"This was a tragic event that could have been avoided if appropriate safety systems were in place."