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Construction company fined over $500,000 after death of worker

Numerous health and safety failings by South Island construction company, Crafar Crouch Construction (Picton) Limited has been found to have caused the death of a worker.

The employee was killed when the dump truck he was driving veered off the road and down a bank in the Marlborough Sounds in June 2017.

In a decision released by the Blenheim District Court last week, Crafar Crouch Construction (Picton) Limited was ordered to pay a fine of $351,563 and reparations of $177,735 following the fatal incident.

A Worksafe investigation found the worker was hired as a labourer and was not licensed to drive the truck which weighed more than six tonnes.

It found Crafar Crouch failed to communicate, monitor and enforce policies that vehicles can only be driven by workers that were wearing seatbelts and had appropriate licences.

The worker was also allowed to drive trucks on numerous occasions even though the company was aware of his inexperience.

WorkSafe says the vehicle killing the highest number of people is trucks, and businesses needed to understand the consequences of an incident involving vehicles can be severe.

WorkSafe Chief Inspector Investigations Steve Kelly, said, Crafar Crouch Construction (Picton) Limited had policies in place but failed to ensure they were enforced and monitored.

"Crafar Crouch had policies around vehicles but in this instance ignored them, and allowed someone with very little truck driving experience to jump behind the wheel.

"The company was very aware of the risks involved and unfortunately this incident has ended with a young worker tragically losing their life and a family grieving for the loss of a loved one."

A file image of a courtroom. Source: 1 NEWS