AI Made Friendly HERE

Forklift accident prompts packhouse to invest in AI, donate to amputee charity

Trevelyan’s Pack and Cool Limited managing director James Trevelyan said the company acknowledged the importance of learning from the accident.
Photo: 123RF

The country’s largest kiwifruit packhouse has committed to installing artificial intelligence (AI) technology to sense pedestrians around forklifts after a worker was run over in 2022.

The man, who was working at Trevelyan’s Te Puke packhouse, was struck while walking behind a reversing forklift and had his left leg and foot run over.

When the driver moved the forklift forward, he ran over the victim’s foot a second time. The lower left leg could not be saved, and was amputated below the knee.

The victim said his life changed in one second on 25 April, 2022.

“Since then, everyday tasks like dressing, showering, and walking have become challenging, my mental health has been up and down, it is physically difficult for me to play with my grandchildren, and sometimes even lying in bed is painful.

“My injury had a very bad effect on my retirement savings, as I’d planned to work for another five or 10 years, but I’ve not been able to. I didn’t want to tell my story in court, but I’m pleased to see Trevelyan’s invest in making its site safer as I do not want anybody else to go through my experience.”

A WorkSafe investigation found Trevelyan’s traffic management plan for the site was deficient, with forklifts and workers clearly not kept separate.

WorkSafe regulatory support manager Catalijne Pille said forklifts were essential to the kiwifruit industry and she expected businesses to manage their risks.

“Where they don’t, we will take action. Harvest season brings heightened risks from more product movement, less space to work, and more people in close quarters.”

In response to the investigation, Trevelyan’s committed to “enforceable undertakings” and spending $500,000 on safety initiatives. They include an AI pedestrian detection system fitted to 40 forklifts to improve safety and reduce risks, collaborating with the wider industry to spread the uptake of the technology and investing in training to improve health and safety competency across the business.

Trevelyan’s will also provide reparation to the victim and provide funding for the Amputee Society of Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Districts.

As a result of the undertaking, WorkSafe’s charges against Trevelyan’s were dropped, but it will regularly monitor progress on the agreed initiatives and would resume prosecution if necessary.

Trevelyan’s Pack and Cool Limited managing director James Trevelyan said the company acknowledged the importance of learning from the accident and was committed to ensuring that such incidents did not reoccur.

“We’re not only committed to investing in the health and safety of our workforce and the broader industry, but also in actively supporting the injured person and his family.

“We are dedicated to building robust capability in the New Zealand workforce, with a specific focus on the prevention of forklift accidents.”

Originally Appeared Here

You May Also Like

About the Author:

Early Bird