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Nightclub Fined $3,000 After Patron Set Alight

Thu, 15 Aug 2002

Nightclub Fined $3,000 After Patron Set Alight

A Hawke's Bay nightclub has been prosecuted by Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) after a patron sustained burns to his face, neck, shoulder and hand.

The accident happened earlier this year after the manager at Jupiters Niteclub poured a flammable liquid known as Shellite over the top of a DJ's box towards the dance floor to create a special effect in the air.

As the vapours ignited, the manager's reflex action was to withdraw the bottle back into the DJ's box, during which it set fire to one of the patrons.

"The victim was incredibly lucky that his injuries were not more severe and that he didn't receive permanent scarring," said Murray Thomson, OSH Service Manager, Hawke's Bay.

"The company failed to make sure that their employee's actions didn't harm anyone.

"The owner of the bar knew his employee was using the Shellite on the dance floor even though he had not been trained to use it."

The company's actions also breached Fire Safety regulations.

"Places of work need to be safe for everybody," said Mr Thomson.

"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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