A logging company has been fined $100,000 after a worker suffered an electric shock on the job in 2018.
The accident happened while a worker for Mike Harris Earthmoving Limited was repairing a forwarder, a vehicle used to pick up and transport logs, WorkSafe said in a statement on Tuesday.
After the forwarder suffered a mechanical fault it was moved to a different area on site to be fixed. However, once moved, "the vehicle came in close enough contact with live powerlines for electricity to be conducted through the vehicle," said WorkSafe.
"As a result a worker who was holding a rail on the side of the machine at the time suffered a serious electric shock."
The worker suffered full thickness burns to his right foot and had to have two of his toes amputated.
He also suffered full thickness burns to his right hand and has not been able to regain full use of his hand, WorkSafe said.
Danielle Henry, WorkSafe's acting chief inspector, said the incident not only caused serious injuries to the worker but also put several other people at risk.
"This work should not have been carried out near live powerlines," Henry said.
"Before beginning repairs the company should have considered proximity to the powerlines and the potential for worker injury if the machine came into contact with live electricity.
"Mike Harris Earthmoving Limited didn’t have an area designated for repairs. This is a reminder to all businesses that the risk of powerlines must be considered. This company’s failure to do so has left a worker with life-changing injuries.”
The company was fined in the Rotorua District Court on Friday. It was also ordered to pay reparations of $21,442, in addition to $23,558 already paid.