Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Company Fined After Employee Falls Five Metres

1 March 2012

Company Fined After Employee Falls Five Metres

A roofing contractor who changed an agreed safety procedure, resulting in one of his employees falling 5.4 metres onto concrete, has been fined $5,000 today.

Louis James Petersen, trading as LJ Roofing, was also ordered to pay $5,000 in reparation to the injured man, who Department of Labour Southern Manager Jean Martin described as extremely fortunate to only suffer a fractured elbow.

The Christchurch District Court heard that Peterson was replacing roofing iron on a commercial building in Sockburn in May 2011, and had agreed with the roofing contractor who hired him to remove and replace one 400mm-wide sheet at a time.

This gap was considered narrow enough to avoid falls but it was later decided that removing one sheet at a time wasn’t practical and increased it to three. This left a 1.2m gap however the safety procedure was not amended. As three workers carried a replacement sheet over the gap by standing on purlins, one of them fell.

Ms Martin says that, having agreed safe practice, it was unacceptable for the employer to change how the task was carried out without further discussion.

“With no safety procedures in place, a gap of this width presented a huge danger to the workers,” says Ms Martin.

“This employee was not using a harness or safety line, and there was no fall protection.

“The defendant was aware of and trained in height safety measures and associated industry guidelines, but chose to do nothing to prevent a fall. This was negligence – and an illustration of the need for the three-year harm reduction campaign we launched last December to raise awareness about working safety at height.

“A fall of much less than this one can kill, so this worker is very fortunate, others have not been.

This is a timely reminder to all employers that they are responsible under the Health and Safety in Employment Act to ensure that their employees are kept safe and healthy at work.

The Department’s campaign focuses on ladder and roof safety throughout the construction sector.

“Builders, roofers, electrical workers, painters and decorators are the most likely to fall from height and get seriously hurt while they are working. Working safely isn’t rocket science but it does mean identifying hazards, doing something about them and continuing to monitor the situation,” says Ms Martin.

Louis James Petersen was convicted on one charge under Section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

Section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 states: Every employer shall take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work; and in particular shall take all practicable steps to—

o (a) provide and maintain for employees a safe working environment; and
o (b) provide and maintain for employees while they are at work facilities for their safety and health; and
o (c) ensure that plant used by any employee at work is so arranged, designed, made, and maintained that it is safe for the employee to use; and
o (d) ensure that while at work employees are not exposed to hazards arising out of the arrangement, disposal, manipulation, organisation, processing, storage, transport, working, or use of things—
(i) in their place of work; or
(ii) near their place of work and under the employer's control; and
o (e) develop procedures for dealing with emergencies that may arise while employees are at work.

• The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 is available here.
• Further information on the Department’s Fall from Heights project can be found online: http://www.dol.govt.nz/prevent-falls/index.asp

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Fruit & Veg Crackdown: Auckland Fruit Fly Find Under Investigation

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating a find of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn... MPI has placed legal controls on the movement of fruit and some vegetables outside of a defined circular area which extends 1.5km from where the fly was trapped in Grey Lynn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Westpac NZ Reaches $2.97M Swaps Settlement

Westpac Banking Corp’s New Zealand unit has agreed to pay $2.97 million in a settlement with the Commerce Commission over the way the bank sold interest rate swaps to farmers between 2005 and 2012. More>>

ALSO:

Going Dutch: Fonterra Kicks Off $144M Partnership With Dutch Cheese Maker

Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world’s largest dairy exporter, has commissioned a new dairy ingredients plant in Heerenveen, in the north of the Netherlands, its first wholly-owned and operated ingredients plant in Europe. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Retail Sales Beat Estimates

New Zealand retail sales rose more than expected in the fourth quarter, led by vehicle-related transactions, food and beverages, adding to evidence that cheap credit and a growing jobs market are encouraging consumers to spend. More>>

ALSO:

Delivery Cuts Go Ahead: 'Government Money Grab' From NZ Post

"It's a money grab by the Government as the shareholder of New Zealand Post" says Postal Workers Union advocate Graeme Clarke about the changes announced by NZ Post. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news