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Company Fined After Worker Falls 5.2 Metres

Wed, 14 Aug 2002

Labour Hire Company Fined After Worker Falls 5.2 Metres

An labour hire company was sentenced to pay $4,000 today after being prosecuted by the Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH) in the Manukau District Court.

Allied Workforce Limited pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the safety of an employee after a worker fell 5.2 meters through a skylight and landed on a concrete floor while carrying out roofing maintenance fell.

The worker was knocked unconscious and suffered injuries to his neck.

"The company failed to gather enough information from their client about what kind of job they were sending their worker to," said John Forrest, OSH Auckland Service Manager.

"Labour hire companies must ensure they obtain specific information about jobs including what type of work will be conducted, the plant and equipment to be used, and the type of working environment.

"Companies must also ensure a suitably trained and component employee is dispatched to the job.

"The court recognises that under the Health and Safety in Employment Act, labour hire companies owe the same duties of care to their employees as any other employer.

"Labour hire companies cannot escape liability because the client, to whom an employee is hired out, is also under a duty to ensure that persons working at their workplace are not exposed to risks to their health and safety."

The client was prosecuted as well. Gerrard Newman trading as Total Roofing, had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to take all practicable steps to control hazards arising in the workplace. He was sentenced in the Manukau District Court on 16 May 2002 and fined $4000.

"New Zealanders being harmed and killed at work is simply unacceptable," said Mr Forrest.

"Everyone has the right to go to work and be safe. Companies must ensure that workplace hazards are identified and controlled correctly, and that their safety systems are constantly reviewed and updated."


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