WorkSafe Prosecution Corner
08 Aug 2019
A Haulotte HA18 boom lift, similar to the one a worker was on when it slipped off its transporter.
A North Island company has been fined $304,750 after an accident involving a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) left a worker permanently paralysed.
In a decision released by the Tauranga District Court, the company was also ordered to pay reparation of $238,000.
The accident happened in May 2016. The worker was unloading a Haulotte HA18 boom lift from a transporter at a Kerikeri construction site when the boom lift slipped off. The worker was catapulted from it and left permanently paralysed from the neck down.
Hayden Mander, WorkSafe’s Chief Inspector Specialist Interventions, says when a business asks workers to use any machinery, it must ensure staff have been trained and that they follow all safety practices.
The worker was not trained to use the boom lift and was not wearing a restraining harness as he was working – requirements listed in the Best Practice Guidelines for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms.
“We are seeing too many cases where workers are being injured because basic safety procedures laid down in industry and regulator best practice requirements are not being met,” Mander says.
“Risks involved in using machinery are very easy to identify, and too many businesses are failing in their duty to keep their workers safe by not putting controls in place to manage the risks.
“In this case, the business should have trained the worker before he was allowed onto the machine and should have ensured that a safety harness was available and worn.
- The company was fined $304,750.
- Reparation of $100,000 was also ordered, as well as $138,000 for consequential loss.
- The company, being a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU), failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health and safety of a worker and that failure exposed them to the risk of serious injury.
- S 48(2)(c) carries a maximum penalty of $1,500,000.