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

Last Sitting Day Of Parliament: Slave Ships Bill To Pass

The House resumed at 9am and MPs agreed to add the third reading of the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill to this morning’s business.

The bill requires all foreign owned fishing vessels to fly under a New Zealand flag from May 2016 and obey all New Zealand laws. This includes labour laws...

Last night Opposition MPs accused the Maori Party of blocking the passage of this bill into law in this Parliament, no members of the Maori Party were in the House to answer the accusations though they denied this in a press release. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Novopayout: Government-Owned Company To Take Over School Payroll

After lengthy negotiations, the Ministry of Education and the existing school payroll provider, Talent2, have settled both on the amounts payable by Talent2 towards the costs of remediating the Novopay service and a new operating model for the school payroll system. More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Labour Will Raise Minimum Wage, Restore Work Rights

A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. More>>

ALSO:

Police: Crewe File Review Released

No new evidence has come to light implicating any specific person as being responsible for the murders of Jeannette and Harvey Crewe... The review identifies there is a distinct possibility that Exhibit 350 (the brass .22 cartridge case) may be fabricated evidence, and that if this is the case, that a member of Police would have been responsible. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Issue #49: Gordon Campbell Interviews Laila Harre

For 25 years, Labour and National have been in virtual agreement about the basics of economic policy, and differed mainly on how to go about managing its social consequences. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Plan To Protect Our Maui’s Dolphins

1. Protect Maui’s from being killed in the sanctuary set up to protect them... 2. Extend fishing protections to the entire Maui’s range... 3. Help protect the livelihoods of affected fishers by supporting them to adopt dolphin-safe fishing methods. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Electorate Deals

For all the talk yesterday from Prime Minister John Key about National being transparent about its electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu, that transparency is entirely front-loaded. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Oil Drilling Face-Off With Labour

The key policy points in the Green Party’s plan to protect our beaches from oil spills are to:
1. Prohibit deep sea oil drilling; 2. Implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping; 3. Build Maritime New Zealand’s oil spill response capability; and 4. Introduce a stronger legal framework so that when accidents do happen, the New Zealand taxpayer does not have to pay for the clean-up. More>>

ALSO:


Nick Smith v Fish & Game:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news