The Department of Labour has launched an investigation after a Northland forklift driver lost his leg after colliding with a log loader.

St John paramedics were called to the Carter Holt Harvey's LVL plant at Marsden Pt about 7.30pm on Monday to attend to a seriously injured 39-year-old worker.

St John Northland operations manager Tony Devanney said three paramedics went to the callout and attempted to stop the man's bleeding, and gave the injured man pain relief.

He was then taken to the Whangarei Hospital.


A Department of Labour spokeswoman confirmed the agency was investigating the accident. Department investigators visited the Rama Rd plant yesterday as part of their enquiries. The investigation could take weeks or months to complete.

The spokeswoman said the department released very little information while carrying out investigations but the outcome might be made public.

The Northern Advocate understands the man lost his leg after the forklift he was driving collided with a much larger log loader.

The injured man is believed to have a family member who also worked at the LVL plant.

A Whangarei Hospital spokeswoman last night said the man was in a stable condition.

LVL plant manager Dave Herzig referred comment to their human resources manager Emily Coffey who did not return calls.

The accident comes just four days after a Kerikeri timber mill worker suffered a horror accident in which his leg was caught in a moving conveyor belt.

St John Ambulance was called to the Mt Pokaka mill, on State Highway 10 at the top off Bulls Gorge, last Thursday evening when a worker, understood to be in his late teens or early 20s, suffered a serious de-gloving injury to his ankle and foot.


De-gloving means the skin has been separated from the tissue. The patient was taken by road to Whangarei Hospital where he is understood to have had surgery that night. The Department of Labour is also investigating that case.

A State of Workplace Health and Safety in New Zealand report, released in June, said nearly 10,000 employees are killed or injured in workplace incidents each year. The report showed industries such as construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing and manufacturing had consistently high work tolls.