News Article

latest news in employment law

WorkSafe Prosecution for Fatal Accident Costs Employer $80,000

Published 10 Jun 2015

WorkSafe NZ have fined a Hastings based Orchard firm $80,000 for multiple failings in health and safety causing the death of a worker.

The young employee who had been at the company for only 5 days died from his injuries after crashing the company 'buggy' while working at the Orchard.

WorkSafe investigated and found the company guilty of numerous failings under the Act.

The buggy causing the crash was dangerous and not fit for purpose: a Subaru with a custom chassis and steering with defective brakes. The employer failed to establish whether the employee had experience driving manual vehicles and training was lacking. There was no hazard identification in place to assess risk, no system of managing or minimising risk nor communication of hazards to staff.

The firm was fined $30,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $50,000.

A salient point in this tragedy is not just the needless accident but also the holistic lack of health and safety systems. WorkSafe NZ will look at the entire company effort in this regard, starting at policy right through to practice, with every failure and absence of process counting against the business owners/responsible parties.

With the new Bill likely to be passed this year get your business compliance in place and up to scratch and keep your staff safe.

If you don't have anything in place it's well worth considering our Health & Safety online system which is integrated with our Employers Toolbox.

For only $50 + gst per month you can have a comprehensive cloud based system to cover your compliance obligations. Members get the discounted rate of 35 + gst . To demo or subscribe to this please see the Heath & Safety online page.