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Hot air ballooning company fined over tourists death

Jul 23rd 2021

Hot air ballooning company fined over tourists death

Health and safety on forestry work sites essential. 

According to WorkSafe New Zealand, a fatality at a forestry logging site could have been avoided if industry guidelines were followed.

In February 2019, a worker died at the scene after being struck by a log being hauled out of the valley at West Ho forest in Tologa Bay on a skyline cable.

Investigations found that two companies with workers at the site breaking out and harvesting, were not ensuring that the recommended safe retreat distances were being adhered to. The victim should have been at least 45 metres away from the skyline cable but was only 18-20 metres away.

Both businesses appeared in the Gisborne District Court on 24 March 2021 following the incident and were sentenced on 16 July 2021. Fines of $468,000 and $288,000 were handed down. The companies have been ordered to share in reparations to the families for a total of $256,408.

WorkSafe's Area Manager Danielle Henry said 'This highlights the importance of clear communication and the need to follow industry practice – especially in a high risk industry.'

The full article on can be viewed on  WorkSafe New Zealand's website. 


Hot air ballooning company fined over tourists death in Alice Springs. 

An outback ballooning company has been convicted and fined over the death of a NSW tourist on a flight in 2013.

The 35 year old victim was on holiday with her husband when as she was boarding the basket, the scarf she was wearing became entangled in the fan's blades and driveshaft, causing fatal injuries.

Despite receiving two safety briefings highlighting the hazard of the inflation fan and instructions to stay clear, the passengers were required to walk past the fan as they boarded the balloon's basket from the side where the fan was located.

The Northern Territory's Work Health and Safety Regulator, Mr Bill Esteves, said, 'Entanglement in machinery can cause fatal injuries and businesses must ensure they are not complacent about safety and not to normalise accepting risks.'

The Alice Springs Local Court imposed fines of $120,000, with an additional Victims Levy of $1000. The company was convicted of breaching section 32 of the Act, and the conviction was recorded.

The full article can be viewed on the  NT WorkSafe website.

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