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Repeat Health And Safety Offender Fined

An Auckland company with a history of health and safety failings has been fined $26,000 for failing to notify WorkSafe of an incident in which a crane collapsed and for failing to ensure the site where the event occurred was not disturbed until authorised by an inspector.

KNCC Limited appeared at the Auckland District Court last week after an event in September 2018 in which a mini crane being used to lift panels on a construction site collapsed. No workers were injured, but the potential harm from the event was serious.

Following the event, KNCC Limited chose not notify WorkSafe, despite being required to by law. Instead the company demobilised the crane, before requesting for the crane to be removed from site and replaced.

WorkSafe later opened an investigation after being notified of the event by a member of the public.

WorkSafe’s Chief Inspector Northern John Howard said since July 2018, KNCC Limited has been issued with 28 prohibition notices, improvement notices, sustained compliance letters and directive letters under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA).

“WorkSafe has a history of previous interactions with this company. It is fair to say KNCC Limited should be aware of what is expected of them when it comes to health and safety in the workplace.

“The company admitted that it did not notify WorkSafe and did not preserve the scene.

“Under HSWA a notifiable incident is considered an unplanned or uncontrolled incident at a workplace that exposes workers, or any others, to serious risk. When the crane collapsed the workers were at risk of being seriously injured, so WorkSafe absolutely was required to be notified.

“This sentencing sends a very clear message to industry. All businesses have a duty to preserve the scene and inform WorkSafe of a notifiable event. A failure to do that will end in enforcement action.”

Notes:

- A fine of $26,000 was imposed.

- KNCC Limited was sentenced under sections 55(1), 55(4)(b), 56(1) and 56(6)(b) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

- Being a person conducting a business or undertaking who managed or controlled a workplace at which a notifiable event had occurred, did not take all reasonable steps to ensure that the site where the event occurred was not disturbed until authorised by an inspector.

- Being a person conducting a business or undertaking, did not, as soon as possible after becoming aware that a notifiable event arising out of the conduct of the business or undertaking had occurred, ensure that the regulator was notified of the event.

- The offence carries a fine not exceeding $50,000.

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