If your workers are operating at height, you must make sure they’re able to work safely according to WorkSafe in the wake of a sentencing decision released by the Hamilton District Court today.
Electrix Limited was sentenced after a worker harnessed to the top of a 30-metre high temporary transmission tower was injured in August 2016 when it fell to the ground leaving him with multiple injuries.
The temporary tower was installed as part of the Waikato Expressway development.
WorkSafe’s investigation found that the tower was not safely secured for the work being undertaken on it. Electrix was found to have failed to: develop and implement a safe system of work, ensure the tower was erected in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and, ensure the competency of its workers on the towers.
Identifying a workplace risk, but not following up to ensure it is controlled is bad health and safety business practice according to WorkSafe.
The comment follows the sentencing of Agility Building Solutions Limited in the Christchurch District Court yesterday after a painter was injured in the construction company's own workplace. WorkSafe says the case is a clear example of workplaces not ensuring safety gear is actually safe for use.
The injured painter, brought in as a contractor to complete some work at Agility’s business premises, was given incorrectly installed mobile scaffolding to work from. On the first day of the job, the painter fell two metres from the scaffolding to the concrete floor below landing head first and sustaining multiple fractures to his skull, face and ribs. He suffered major brain trauma as a result.
While Agility had identified a fall from the platform as a risk and noted that it needed to be correctly installed, they had no systems in place to ensure that a pre-work check took place to make sure the safety gear was installed correctly and fit for purpose.
The death of a retired man who fell from a mobility scooter on a damaged piece of footpath has resulted in building development company YSB Group Limited being fined $100,000 by the Manukau District Court. The decision was released today.
The footpath had been damaged by heavy vehicles during the development of a Papatoetoe housing site. When the victim was driving his mobility scooter in March last year, the scooter tipped on the uneven terrain. He then fell to the ground and was fatally injured.
WorkSafe says the circumstances are a reminder that workplaces have a responsibility for others interacting with their worksite, as well as those completing work on it.
New Zealand has clearly defined standards for how machinery should be guarded, and WorkSafe says they’re still not being met by too many companies.
“Too many workers are being seriously injured as a result of substandard guarding,” says WorkSafe’s Head of Specialist Interventions Simon Humphries.
Locker Group (NZ) Ltd appeared in Manukau district court yesterday on health and safety charges after a worker was badly injured by an inadequately guarded machine. Locker Group manufactures and sells metal and mesh products for the construction industry.
The worker was injured in April 2016 when his hands were crushed by a piece of machinery that folds sheet metal. He had to undergo significant medical work including finger amputations. Mr Humphries said the injuries had irrevocably changed the worker’s life.
Unqualified and unsafe asbestos removal landed Richard John Knight in the Christchurch District Court last week for sentencing. Mr Knight was unlicensed for an asbestos demolition job carried out on a Riccarton building in February 2017.
The sentencing is the first of its kind under new asbestos regulations and relates to strict new rules around licensing.
While the worker did have experience in the construction industry and in demolition, he was not licensed to manage the removal of asbestos. Nor had he obtained the required certification for the work he completed.
“Mr Knight required a Class A removal license for the job – but instead of ensuring a competent person was engaged, decided to flout the law” said WorkSafe’s Head of Specialist Interventions, Simon Humphries.
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