Fire protection consultant fined for health and safety breach

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Auckland, NZ, – A fire protection consultant in Auckland was fined $60,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $194,715 after pleading guilty to one charge under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 following an incident, wherein a worker doing fire alarm installation work fell from a ladder and is now tetraplegic.

WorkSafe New Zealand says the incident highlighted the importance of providing the right tools for the job for workers working at height to prevent serious injuries.

In the absence of the right tool for the job, the victim used a 6-feet ladder on top of a mobile scaffolding and in doing so ended up above the limited protection of the basic scaffold guardrail and fell less than three metres to the ground.

“A man’s life and livelihood has changed forever because the company responsible for his safety and wellbeing failed to take a series of steps to ensure he was safe at work. There wasn’t enough attention paid to the working environment or whether the men had the right gear and sufficient training to do the work,” said Chief Inspector Keith Stewart.

“While some instruction was given, there was no re-assessment of the work environment which had changed since the prior work was done on the site.

“This company had identified working at height hazards but failed to provide its workers with appropriate tools for the job.”

Mr. Stewart emphasized the importance of having a good health and safety systems and polices in place and to ensure that these are implemented.

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