WorkSafe is warning businesses not to play down notifiable events in their workplaces.
Trade Depot Ltd appeared in Auckland District Court in December following an incident where more than 200kg of plasterboard fell on a worker in Takanini. The Court has since released its sentencing decision on the matter.
The May 2016 incident left the worker with a skull fracture and head injuries requiring surgery and four days hospitalisation. The company failed to notify WorkSafe of the incident at the time, and then tried to downplay its severity when it did finally notify WorkSafe.
When asked for a description of the injury, Trade Depot noted “probable concussion from impact” with no reference to extensive bleeding, fractures, surgery and hospitalisation.
There are no second chances with heavy machinery says WorkSafe after the sentencing of Easton Agriculture Limited today in Palmerston North District Court.
The sentencing follows the death of a worker in August 2016 after he became trapped in a potato harvester on a farm in Shannon. The worker had been employed by the defendant for more than 30 years and was familiar with the machine he was operating.
WorkSafe’s investigation found that the machine had no guarding over a nip point between exposed rollers on the machine, that Easton Agriculture had no lone worker policy in place and did not have a standard operating procedure for the safe operation of the machine. Guarding could have saved the worker’s life.
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