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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Arming Police: Frontline Police To Routinely Carry Tasers

"In making the decision, the Police executive has considered almost five years worth of 'use of force' data… It consistently shows that the Taser is one of the least injury-causing tactical options available when compared with other options, with a subject injury rate of just over one per cent for all deployments." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news