Council of Trade Unions calls for urgent inquiry after second port death in six days

New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is calling for an urgent inquiry into port safety after the deaths of two port workers within a week.

A port worker at Lyttelton Port died at 9:30 am on Anzac Day on a vessel at Cashin Quay. Stuff reported the worker was crushed by coal but Lyttelton Port Company could not confirm any further details.

It is the second port-related death in six days after 26-year-old stevedore Atiroa Tuaiti fatally fell while loading containers at the Ports of Auckland last Tuesday.

New Zealand Council Trade Union President Richard Wagstaff says the Lyttleton Port death on Monday is a "tragedy" and serves as further evidence of the urgent need for an inquiry into port safety in New Zealand.

"Three days out from Workers Memorial Day, yet another worker has been killed at work at a New Zealand port," he said.

"Every worker deserves to know that when they go to work in the morning, they will be coming home safely at the end of the day. Sadly that is currently not the case in this industry, and urgent action is needed."

Maritime Union of New Zealand, Maritime Transport Union, and the New Zealand Merchant Service Guild have called for an inquiry into port safety to develop national standards.

The Lyttelton Port worker's death has been referred to the coroner to work out the cause of death.