Worksafe NZ published a Media Release on Wednesday… Worksafe NZ fines company that was fined after a workplace incident left a worker permanently paralysed.
The North Island company, Supermac Group Resources Ltd was fined $304,750 NZD after the workplace incident on a mobile elevating work platform left one of their workers permanently paralysed from the neck down. They were also ordered to pay reparation of $238,000 NZD following the incident in May 2016.
The worker was unloading a boom lift from a transporter at a construction site in Kerikeri when the boom lift slipped off the transporter. The worker was catapulted from the boom lift and was left paralysed and will never walk again. The worker was not trained to use the boom lift and was not wearing a restraining harness as he was working – these are requirements clearly stated in the Best Practice Guidelines for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms.
WorkSafe’s Chief Inspector (Specialist Interventions) Hayden Mander said that it is critical when businesses are asking their workers to use any machinery, that they ensure they’ve been trained to do so and to follow all safety practices.
“We are seeing too many cases where workers are being injured because basic safety procedures laid down in industry and regulator best practice requirements are not being met.
“Risks involved in using machinery are very easy to identify, and too many businesses are failing in their duty to keep their workers safe by not putting controls in place to manage the risks. In this case, the business should have trained the worker before he was allowed onto the machine, and should have ensured that a safety harness was available and worn.
“These are easy things to do. Supermac’s failure to do them has left a worker paralysed from the chest down and facing the future knowing he will never be able to walk again.”
Supermac Group Resources Limited was sentenced under sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and 2(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. Section 48(2)(c) carries a maximum penalty of $1,500,000NZD.
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