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Current as of 22/12/14 09:00AM NZST

Hefty fine for tourist's travelator injury

The victim suffered a fractured left hip when she stepped onto the travelator, which began moving towards her rather than away from her. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The victim suffered a fractured left hip when she stepped onto the travelator, which began moving towards her rather than away from her. Photo / Brett Phibbs

An Australian tourist who was injured on a moving walkway at Auckland Airport has been awarded $21,500 in reparations for emotional harm and economic loss.

Schindler Lifts NZ Ltd was also fined $20,000 at the Manukau District Court yesterday.

The victim suffered a fractured left hip in December last year when she stepped onto the travelator, which then started and began moving towards her rather than away from her.

She was hospitalised for four days where she underwent surgery before returning to Australia, MBIE chief inspector investigations Keith Stewart said.

The travelator had been modified by an employee of Schindler Lifts NZ Ltd to operate in only one direction. The modifications did not meet best practice standards for New Zealand and led to the victim being injured.

"Schindler Lifts NZ didn't have an operational plan in place for the modification and should have - it should also have carried out a review of the work its employee did to make sure it was safe," Mr Stewart said.

"The company had made these modifications several years before the accident.

"Maintenance checks did not pick up the problem because the same employee did the maintenance checks, and was aware the exit sensor had been deactivated and considered it to be safe."

The company and the employer should have been more proactive in ensuring the modifications carried out did not harm anyone, Mr Stewart said.

- APNZ

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