Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Company prosecuted for using unsafe demolition practices


26 July 2012
Company prosecuted for using unsafe demolition practices

Wellington company C&M Transport Limited has been fined $10,000 after one of its employees was exposed to asbestos, live electricity and falling objects on a central city demolition site.

The Wellington District Court heard that the incident happened in January last year, when the company was engaged by Concrete Drilling and Cutting (1992) to demolish two buildings at 151-159 Willis Street.

This is the last of three sets of charges laid by the former Department of Labour around the demolition of the old Settlement Building. The building is owned by the Chow Brothers whose company was fined $24,000 in May for failing to keep an employee of their contractor, Concrete Drilling and Cutting, safe on site. Concrete Drilling and Cutting was also fined $20,000 for the same incident.

The excavator that C&M’s employee was using to demolish the building did not provide adequate protection for the operator. It did not have the correct falling objects protective structure fitted, and the front window and side door of the cab were also open, leaving the worker exposed to asbestos dust and falling objects.

“The employer exposed the employee to the potential of significant injury and health harm and showed total disregard for employer health and safety responsibilities,” says Southern Labour General Manager for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Jean Martin.

“The situation was avoidable and all practical steps were not taken to protect the employee. The electricity had not been disconnected from the site prior to demolition and testing identified that there was asbestos in the exterior sheeting that clad some of the building,” she says.

“It is extremely fortunate that the worker wasn’t injured or made seriously ill carrying out this risky demolition work.

“This was a very badly managed worksite with failure throughout the chain of companies involved.

“MBIE has Best Practice Guidelines for Demolition on its website which all demolition companies and employees should be aware of and understand,” Ms Martin says.

ENDS

Notes to Editor
• C&M Transport Limited appeared in the Wellington District Court on Tuesday 24 July. They were charged with one charge under Section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992. This states:
Every employer shall take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work; and in particular shall take all practicable steps to—
• (a) provide and maintain for employees a safe working environment; and
• (b) provide and maintain for employees while they are at work facilities for their safety and health; and
• (c) ensure that plant used by any employee at work is so arranged, designed, made, and maintained that it is safe for the employee to use; and
• (d) ensure that while at work employees are not exposed to hazards arising out of the arrangement, disposal, manipulation, organisation, processing, storage, transport, working, or use of things—
• (i) in their place of work; or
• (ii) near their place of work and under the employer's control; and
• (e) develop procedures for dealing with emergencies that may arise while employees are at work.

• The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 is available online.
• The Best Practice Guidelines for Demolition in New Zealand are available online.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Air New Zealand: Capital Raise Deferred

Air New Zealand has decided to defer its planned capital raise to later in 2021 allowing more time to assess the impacts of recent developments on the airline’s path to recovery. 'We’ve seen some clearing of COVID-19 clouds recently, with ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Cartel Conduct Now Punishable By Up To 7 Years’ Jail Time

Cartel conduct can now be punished with a term of imprisonment of up to 7 years, after the Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Act 2019 came into effect today. Cartel conduct includes price fixing, market allocation and bid rigging (see ... More>>

Stats NZ: Auckland Population May Hit 2 Million In Early 2030s

Auckland’s population may rise from about 1.7 million currently to 2 million by early next decade, Stats NZ said today. “Auckland will likely have the highest average annual growth of New Zealand’s 16 regions over the next 30 years, from ... More>>

Air New Zealand: Business Travellers Return To The Skies In Record Numbers

After a year of talking to a computer, Kiwis are leaving the office to re-connect with their clients, suppliers, and staff. New figures released by Air New Zealand show domestic business and corporate travel has defied global trends by returning ... More>>

PwC: Outcome Of Review Into Air New Zealand Gas Turbines Business

Air New Zealand has received the report into its Gas Turbines business from independent external advisers PwC. Air New Zealand Chairman Dame Therese Walsh says the report identified a range of effective controls in the Gas Turbines revenue contracting ... More>>

LPG Association: Renewable LPG Achieves Emissions Budgets With No Need To Ban New LPG Connections

Renewable LPG can supply New Zealand’s LPG needs and achieve the emissions reductions proposed by the Climate Commission without the need to ban new connections, a new study shows. The investigation, by leading consultancy Worley, was prepared for the ... More>>

Commerce: House Values Continue To Climb As New Government Measures Announced

The Government’s new initiatives to quell the rocketing housing market were announced last week, just as house prices hit a new high for the end of March. The average value increased 7.8% nationally over the past three-month period, up from the 6.8% ... More>>