NZ Local News

Clelands Timber worker dies following machinery incident at New Plymouth site

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A workplace incident occurred at Clelands Timber in New Plymouth in late January, leading to the death of an employee this week.

A person has died after a workplace incident involving machinery at a timber mill.

Sorav Saini died in hospital this week following the incident at Clelands Timber in New Plymouth last month.

A Hato Hone St John spokesperson confirmed one ambulance, two rapid response units, one operations manager and one helicopter were called to the Katere Rd site at 2.37pm on January 25.

Saini, the company’s fingerjointer and optimizer supervisor, was airlifted to Waikato Hospital in a critical condition.

Clelands Timber spokeswoman Liz Read described it as a tragic situation and said the company’s thoughts were with Saini’s family.

She said Clelands has been in contact with his immediate family since the incident.

“You can imagine this is incredibly difficult for everyone,” Read told NZME this morning.

Support was also being offered to Saini’s colleagues.

“That’s absolutely the focus at this time as well as supporting his family.”

Read said the company was not in a position to comment on how the incident occurred as it was now being investigated by WorkSafe.

Clelands was cooperating with WorkSafe and doing everything it could to ensure the safety of its team, she said.

The machinery involved in the death was shut down for a week and recommenced operation on February 1 with WorkSafe’s clearance.

WorkSafe opened an investigation into the incident after being notified on January 25.

“Our work to establish the circumstances is ongoing and no charges have been filed at this early stage,” a spokesperson said.

NZME has reached out to Saini’s wife for comment.

Tara Shaskey joined NZME in 2022 as a news director and Open Justice reporter. She has been a reporter since 2014 and previously worked at Stuff covering crime and justice, arts and entertainment, and Māori issues.



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