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Wellington man fined for obstructing WorkSafe investigation


WorkSafe says failure to comply with its investigation processes will not be tolerated and there will be serious consequences for anyone who refuses to cooperate.

Joshua Junior Nanai was sentenced at the Porirua District Court this week on a representative charge of obstruction after failing to cooperate with WorkSafe while an investigation took place. He was also sentenced on a substantive charge of failing to ensure the health and safety of other persons.

Nanai failed to attend interviews with WorkSafe staff on four separate occasions. He also did not provide documentation and information to assist with WorkSafe’s investigation. He was fined $2,000 on this charge. The court considered financial capacity in arriving at its decision.

The charge arose from a WorkSafe investigation into Nanai’s unsafe removal of a 30 metre high Norfolk pine tree. He was fined $12,000 on a charge relating to failing to ensure the health and safety of others by not implementing a traffic management plan to isolate the public from the tree work; or ensure adequate systems were used to control the tree debris.

WorkSafe Chief Inspector Investigations Steve Kelly said while WorkSafe staff were trying to complete their investigation into his work Nanai remained uncooperative and his behaviour was unacceptable.

“Our inspectors have legal authority to request information and businesses are required to provide that information. Our inspectors are carrying out their work to protect workers and others and we will not hesitate to prosecute where they are hindered in that work and the law is flouted.”


Notes:

Charge 1

- A fine of $12,000 was imposed.

- Joshua Junior Nanai was sentenced under sections 36(2), 48(1) and (2)(b) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

- Being a PCBU, failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health and safety of other persons, was not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking, namely the removal of a Norfolk pine tree, and that failure exposed any individual to a risk of death or serious injury.

- The maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding $300,000.

Charge 2

- A fine of $2000 was imposed.

- Joshua Junior Nanai was sentenced under sections 179(1) and 2(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

- Joshua Junior Nanai, without reasonable cause, hindered or obstructed a WorkSafe New Zealand Inspector, in exercising her compliance powers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 in that Joshua Junior Nanai failed to attend interviews and provide documentation as required under sections 168(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

- The maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding $10,000.

- Representative charge


ends

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