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

 

Worksafe NZ fine for helmet use

15 May 2014

Worksafe NZ fine for helmet use

Federated Farmers believes that penalties of $15,000, imposed on a herd manager under the Health and Safety in Employment 1992 Act, indicates Worksafe NZ is prepared to use its regulatory stick, but the size of the fine is unprecedented.

“Worksafe NZ is sending a clear message to all quad bike users that it has the regulatory muscle and is now prepared to deploy it,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“Whatever you may think about a helmet the law is the law. If you flout it you risk significant penalties as this case shows.

“Yet the size of the penalty has come as a shock, given the fine for not wearing a seatbelt is $150 and drivers are responsible for those under 15 years of age. It is why Worksafe NZ needs to fully explain why the penalty in this case is 100 times greater than that for seatbelts.

“The risk with this penalty is the climate of fear and suspicion it creates instead of the positive relationship and progress that seemed to be developing.

“Worksafe inspectors have been visiting farms, preceded by warning letters, and there has been significant coverage in the rural media as well as advisories to farmers from Federated Farmers and like minded organisations.

“While there is an understandable focus on farmers and quad bike use, we are far from being the only users of them judging by what I see on television. There are far more quad bikes in New Zealand than registered road going motorcycles.

“With Worksafe NZ’s farm inspections, where a breach has been found, a warning letter or infringement notice is either issued or posted out, which is the wake-up call for those who have not heeded our advice.

"If you have an accident while not wearing a helmet, then it means you have not taken all practicable steps to eliminate hazards. If it involves an employee then the penalties are enormous, let alone the emotional toll.

“Not wearing a helmet on a quad bike is like not wearing a respirator when spraying weeds. You need to wear the right protective equipment, and with quad bikes it makes helmet use the law.

“The nature and size of what Worksafe NZ has imposed tells us that it does have the necessary teeth at its disposal. The question is whether those teeth have bitten too deep,” Mr Wills concluded.

ACC has an excellent guide on quad bike use available here.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Superu Report: Land Regulation Drives Auckland House Prices

Land use regulation is responsible for up to 56 per cent of the cost of an average house in Auckland according to a new research report quantifying the impact of land use regulations, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Fletcher Whittled: Fletcher Dumps Adamson In Face Of Dissatisfaction

Fletcher Building has taken the unusual step of dumping its chief executive, Mark Adamson, as the company slashed its full-year earnings guidance and flagged an impairment against Australian assets. More>>

ALSO:

No More Dog Docking: New Animal Welfare Regulations Progressed

“These 46 regulations include stock transport, farm husbandry, companion and working animals, pigs, layer hens and the way animals are accounted for in research, testing and teaching.” More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Most Kiwifruit Contractors Breaking Law

A Labour Inspectorate operation targeting the kiwifruit industry in Bay of Plenty has found the majority of labour hire contractors are breaching their obligations as employers. More>>

ALSO:

'Work Experience': Welfare Group Opposes The Warehouse Workfare

“This programme is about exploiting unemployed youth, not teaching them skills. The government are subsidising the Warehouse in the name of reducing benefit dependency,” says Vanessa Cole, spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty. More>>

ALSO:

Internet Taxes: Labour To Target $600M In Unpaid Taxes From Multinationals

The Labour Party would target multinationals operating in New Zealand to ensure they don't avoid paying tax if it wins power and is targeting $600 million over three years through a "diverted profits tax," says leader Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO: