Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


High Court upholds decision on workplace safety onus

High Court upholds decision on workplace safety onus

4 July 2013

High Court upholds decision on workplace safety onus

The High Court has rejected an appeal from the former Department of Labour about workplace safety, which will be of particular interest for companies involved in the Christchurch rebuild.

It has upheld an earlier decision of the District Court that in some cases, where a head contractor delegates technical work to a sub-contractor, the responsibility for ensuring the work is carried out safely will rest with the sub-contractors. A head contractor cannot be expected to guarantee the technical work of a specialist sub-contractor.

Southroads Ltd was prosecuted by the then Department of Labour over an accident caused by the negligent piling work of one of its sub-contractors. The District Court Judge dismissed the charge against Southroads. The Department of Labour appealed.

Stephanie Grieve, a Duncan Cotterill litigation partner specialising in Health & Safety, defended Southroads in the case.

She said the issue would always depend on the circumstances but that the case is important in clarifying the extent of a head contractor’s liability for safety issues arising from work carried out by sub-contractors.

“This is a common sense decision which recognises that in the construction industry it is usual for head contractors to delegate aspects of work to sub-contractors. While the head contractor will still be responsible for ensuring overall safety on the site, it cannot be expected to guarantee that sub-contractors do not cause safety issues by failing to carry out their tasks correctly. What is required of a head contractor will depend on the work it has delegated and how obvious the safety risk is.”

Grieve said the High Court agreed with the original finding that, while Southroads was responsible for overall management of the project, including monitoring general health and safety on site, it was not required to oversee the technical aspects of work that it had contracted out to a specialist sub-contractor.

The High Court said there was no reason for Southroads to expect that the sub-contractor would make a fundamental error in carrying out the design and construction work it had been engaged to do. The sub-contractor’s error was not something that would have been obvious to Southroads.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news