A construction company specialising in prefabricated homes has been ordered to pay $10,000 in reparation after an employee was struck by a chain which caused a forehead laceration and damage to the eye.

True Green Homes Ltd, which is in liquidation, was sentenced in the Christchurch District Court this week under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees.

WorkSafe New Zealand's chief inspector Keith Stewart said a purlin screw - used to secure a chain around a wall being moved - snapped, causing a sudden release of tension in the chain which struck the employee in the face.

An investigation identified a number of steps True Green Homes Ltd could have taken to keep its staff safe, said Mr Stewart.


A crane used to stack the walls was lifting weight in excess of 151 kilograms when it could only take 100 kilograms. The screws used to secure the chain to the wall were distorted and fatigued.

There was no current test certificate or a design verification for the crane.

There was also no test certificate for the lifting tackle and no working load limit had been established for the lifting equipment, WorkSafe said.

"The crane is an obvious hazard and the steps that could have been taken to keep staff safe were not difficult," said Mr Stewart.

True Green Homes Ltd should have assessed and selected the correct lifting gear and used it correctly, he said, including getting the capacity of the lifting tackle and fixings right.

"These steps are clearly set out in WorkSafe's guidance for load-lifting rigging," he said.