Company fined $100k after electric shock leaves worker needing two toes amputated

A logging company was fined $100,000 at the Rotorua District Court on Friday after a worker suffered burns from an electric shock that left them without full use of their right hand and two amputated toes.


A WorkSafe report released today detailed the incident which led to the fine.

"In November 2018 Mike Harris Earthmoving Limited was using a forwarder, a vehicle used to pick up and transport logs, at a Rotorua site when the forwarder’s crane stopped working. The forwarder was then transported to an area on site to be repaired," it reads.

"Once moved, the vehicle came in close enough contact with live powerlines for electricity to be conducted through the vehicle. 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 warned other businesses about the danger of working near powerlines and asked them to plan ahead accordingly.