Sub-optimal demolition work of three residential buildings placed workers and neighbours at significant risk of asbestos exposure and landed the home owner with a large clean-up bill.
The dangers of asbestos have long been recognised which is why the extensive failings of P&M Demolition Specialists Ltd and its sole Director, Jade Ngaha, are so disturbing.
WorkSafe’s investigation found that P&M Demolition Specialists and Mr Ngaha had been told of asbestos containing material on site. Despite this, there was neither a risk assessment nor a comprehensive survey to establish the location, condition and quantity of asbestos containing material. Instead the demolition work proceeded with no safety controls in place, exposing workers and neighbours to asbestos fibres and asbestos containing dust. Asbestos dust was found well beyond the boundary of the worksite.
WorkSafe New Zealand has accepted an enforceable undertaking from the St Kentigern Trust Board following an incident in which two students were injured during an April 2016 school production of Sweeney Todd.
WorkSafe’s investigation found that the Board breached the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) by failing to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of students was not put at risk from work carried out as part of the business or undertaking.
This is the first time WorkSafe has used an enforceable undertaking, a provision under the HSWA, which can be considered as an alternative to prosecution.
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