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Some Employers Will Only Respond To Big Fines

Christchurch OSH Conviction: Some Employers Will Only Respond To Big Fines

“This case is yet another clear example of the need for bigger fines as an incentive to employers who repeatedly fail to take steps to protect workers’ safety,” Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.

Christchurch company Peter Baker Transport Limited was fined $23,000 today following an accident in which a worker was killed when a 1200 kg mezzanine floor fell onto him while he was helping to unload the Semi Curtainsider of a truck.

"It is clear from the evidence to the Court that this was not the first time the company had had problems with the falling of a mezzanine floor during unloading,” Ross Wilson said.

“Yet it appears to have done nothing and tragically a worker’s life has been lost.”

Ross Wilson said the increased fine levels in the osh Bill before Parliament will provide the ‘big stick’ which Bill Birch in 1992 saw as necessary to bring cowboy employers into line.

“We must act to stop these completely preventable deaths in New Zealand workplaces,” he said.

“Paying $20,000 of the fine to grieving families is little comfort in cases like this one.”

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