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

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“With nearly half of New Zealanders renting, the grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them,” said Green Party social housing spokesperson Marama Davidson. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election