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

 

New Conviction For Death Shows Health And Safety Crisis In The Waterfront Industry

The Maritime Union says there is a health and safety crisis in the waterfront industry, after the conviction of a stevedoring employer whose negligence led to the death of a young woman employee.

Shannon Brooke Rangihuna-Kemp, 29, an ISO Limited stevedore worker at Eastland Port in Gisborne, died from crush injuries after she was hit by a log that fell from a trailer load she was about to scan in a “tally lane” on 8 October 2018.

ISO Limited was convicted of exposing an individual to risk of harm and illness and ordered to undertake significant health and safety improvements last week in the Gisborne District Court.

Harrowing statements were made to the Court by family members whose lives had been shattered by the death of a loved daughter and mother.

Maritime Union National Secretary Craig Harrison says that he has no faith that the outcome of the case would stop more deaths happening.

“Preventable deaths and injuries occur, convictions happen, the employer gets told off in court and makes some temporary changes, they are absorbed as a business cost, and then the old speed ups and bad practices come back, and then another death.”

Mr Harrison says until corporate manslaughter is used to put individual responsibility on managers and Boards, then nothing would change.

He says the Union message is simple: “Kill a worker, go to jail.”

The Maritime Union had already been shaken by the deaths of two workers at the Ports of Auckland since 2018, but the health and safety issue needed a national response with the involvement of the industry stakeholders.

Mr Harrison says these tragedies were happening to young, working class people and it seemed their lives did not have the same value as others.

Rather than being fined, ISO had been ordered through a Court Ordered Enforceable Undertaking (COEU) to improve health and safety to a cost of $800,000.

Mr Harrison says while the Union is not opposed in concept to COEU in this case it was not an appropriately severe sentence.

He says ISO had killed a worker through negligence and was now simply being made to comply with health and safety laws: the same laws that would have protected Ms Rangihuna-Kemp if they had been adhered to.

Mr Harrison says it was staggering the company's lawyers had argued the company should be discharged without conviction, and had suggested a $20,000 reparation payment to the family was appropriate, on the basis some payments had already been made.

It was an indication of the real attitude of ISO management, he says.

The Court had ordered a payment of $100,000 to the family for emotional harm.

A Worksafe investigation uncovered numerous routine hazards in the work area where the death occurred that ISO Ltd already knew about, but had failed to take steps to fix.

Worksafe stated the death was the result of systemic fundamental failure to protect workers, less than a year after ISO Ltd was previously subjected to an enforceable order in relation to an incident in which a portside worker fell from a ladder on a ship in the Port of Tauranga.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Paymark: Lockdown Equals Slowdown For Some

The three days of lockdown for Auckland earlier this month made a clear impression on our retail spending figures. While only Auckland moved into Level 3 lockdown, the impact was felt across the country, albeit at different levels. Looking at the ... More>>

Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga Releases Report On Water Infrastructure

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga’s latest discussion document highlights the importance of current reforms in the water sector. Its State of Play discussion document about water infrastructure is one of a series looking at the ... More>>

Sci-Tech: Perseverance Rover Lands On Mars – Expert Reaction

NASA has landed a car-sized rover on the red planet to search for signs of past life. The vehicle has more instruments than the four rovers preceding it, and it’s also carrying gear that could help pave the way for human exploration of Mars. The ... More>>

ALSO:


ASB: Quarterly Economic Forecast Predicts OCR Hike As Early As August 2022

Predictions of interest rate rises have been brought forward 12 months in ASB’s latest Quarterly Economic Forecast. Chief Economist Nick Tuffley now expects the RBNZ to begin raising the OCR from its current level of 0.25% as early as August ... More>>

ACT: Matariki Almost A Half Billion Dollar Tax On Business

“Official advice to the Government says an extra public holiday at Matariki could cost almost $450 million,” ACT Leader David Seymour can reveal. “This is a perfect example of the Prime Minister doing what’s popular versus what’s responsible. ... More>>

Genesis: Assessing 6,000 GWh Of Renewable Generation Options For Development By 2025

Genesis is assessing 6,000 GWh of renewable generation options for development after starting a closed RFP process with 11 partners. Those invited to participate offer a range of technologies as Genesis continues to execute its Future-gen strategy to ... More>>

OECD: Unemployment Rate Stable At 6.9% In December 2020, 1.7 Percentage Points Higher Than In February 2020

The OECD area unemployment rate was stable at 6.9% in December 2020, remaining 1.7 percentage points above the level observed in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the labour market. [1] In December, the unemployment rate was also stable ... More>>

Stats NZ: Unemployment Drops To 4.9 Percent As Employment Picks Up

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in the December 2020 quarter, from 5.3 percent in the September 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Last quarter’s unemployment rate of 5.3 percent followed the largest increase observed ... More>>