Company in NZ fined over worker’s serious fall injuries

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WorkSafe New Zealand warns the construction industry that workers injured due to the well-known risk of working at height will never be acceptable.

A company was recently sentenced in the Oamaru District Court after a worker fell from a roof with no edge protection, through a glass table onto concrete in April 2016. Two workers were on the roof and exposed to the risk of fall.

A WorkSafe investigation found that the business failed to identify the risk of a fall, failed to put any fall protection in place and did not ensure workers were trained and instructed in working at height.

“More injuries happen on residential building sites than any other workplace in the construction sector. Even a fall from the roof of a single story can be fatal and controls need to be put in place,” said General Manager and Operations and Specialist Services Brett Murray.

“The best controls are those that don’t require active judgement by a worker. This includes solutions such as edge protection or scaffolding. If a worker slips or missteps, as we saw in this case, there is a physical barrier between themselves and the ground below”.

The company was convicted and fined $50,000 and ordered to pay $20,000 reparation to the victim.

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