Earthwork company must pay $152,500 for employee’s death

Court House-Sept-2013-06An earthmoving company must pay $152,500 for the death of a Filipino employee in a workshop accident at a northern Southland goldmine.

Reefton-based Rosco Contractors Ltd was ordered to pay a fine of $52,500 and reparations of $100,000 to the wife of the victim, who was killed on November 5, 2015, when a hydraulic ram failed.

The accident happened at the Waikaia Gold goldmine.

The company entered an early guilty plea after the prosecution by Worksafe New Zealand on the charge of failing to take steps to ensure the safety of an employee.

Mario Lelina, 30, was killed while he was working in the workshop area doing maintenance on a dump truck.

The truck had been raised on a hydraulic ram which had been modified by a previous employee and was using a power unit that was too powerful for the ram to handle.

At the sentencing today in the Christchurch District Court, Judge John Strettell said: “Regrettably, under high pressure, hydraulic oil was forced out hitting Mr Lelina and causing fatal injuries.”

Worksafe New Zealand prosecutor Lucy Moffatt asked the court to be “generous” in awarding emotional harm reparations to the family of Mr Lelina, who had financial responsibilities to a wife and children.

Judge Strettell was told the company continued to be involved in Mr Lelina’s family, and a company director had visited them in the Philippines. The company had been pro-active in supporting the family after his death.

Judge Strettell said there was no doubt that there had been significant emotional harm arising from the tragic accident, and set the reparation figure at $100,000.

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