NZ Construction company fined for worker’s fall from height

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WorkSafe New Zealand reminds employers to ensure their workers are using their health and safety equipment properly after a construction company was prosecuted over the injury of a contractor at a Wellington demolition site in March 2016.

WorkSafe’s investigation found that while workers used a fall restraint harness system onsite, the supervision and training of the harness used was inadequate.

“Individual controls, like a harness, only look after individuals and rely on active judgement by the user for them to work safely. Training, inspection and equipment maintenance are critical for these measures to be effective,” said WorkSafe Manager Technical Programmes and Support, Simon Humphries.

“The preferred approach is to apply group controls that isolate multiple workers from the risk of falling. The best work methods are those that don’t require any active judgement by the workers to keep themselves safe, such as edge protection or scaffolding.”

The investigation revealed that the company failed to ensure that the hazard of a fall from height was appropriately managed.

The company took several steps to correct the issue following the incident and prior to prosecution. It was fined $39,500 and ordered to pay reparations to the victim of $58,421 in the Wellington District Court today.

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