Safety failures led to forestry worker's death

Safety failures led to forestry worker's death

An inquest for a Bay of Plenty forestry worker killed on the job has been told failed safety practices contributed to the 19-year-old's death. 

The coroner's court heard the incident, which ended Eramiha Pairama's life, could easily have been prevented.

Selina Eruera sat in court listening to a detailed description of how her 19-year-old son died.

The Coroner told the inquest Mr Pairama was working for the Puteki Logging company when he was killed by a falling tree.

A high-vis vest became a key element of the evidence; today the coroner revealed that Mr Pairama's vest mysteriously went missing after his death.

Today's inquest comes after a successful private prosecution by the Council of Trade Union (CTU).

Ms Eruera says she brought the prosecution so other families wouldn't have to go through what she had to.

"I want MBIE, DOL [and] WorkSafe to take ownership of their failures to me, my family, Helen Kelly and the legal team, as what we went through was preventable if they had done their investigation properly."

WorkSafe told Newshub it would not comment while the inquest was on.

Earlier this month new health and safety laws came into force, making it harder for bosses to ignore workplace safety concerns.

But former CTU boss Helen Kelly says it's still not enough.

"It's time to get some stronger [laws] that deal with things like working in the dark, working in the cold, long hours, fatigue -- core issues that killed this kid."

The Coroner will release his details of his findings in about a month.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: