WorkSafe Prosecution Corner

01 Nov 2018

An Auckland scaffolding company has been fined $180,000 for failing to provide its workers with a safe working environment.

The company was sentenced for failing to install a safe scaffold, leaving its workers exposed to risks including falls, electric shocks and scaffold collapse.

The risks included: the unmanaged risk of electric shock from a live 230 volt powerline that was at times touching the scaffold, the risk of fall from a height of four metres and the risk of scaffold collapsing as a result of excessive corrosion.

Head of WorkSafe’s General Inspectorate Jo Pugh said the company’s disregard for the safety of workers using scaffolding was alarming.

“This was a seriously dodgy set up and it is not the way to do scaffolding. If scaffolding is not maintained and not set up properly, then your workers are walking on a tightrope of risk.”

The company had previously been issued with one infringement notice, eight prohibition notices, and nine improvement notices for health and safety matters.

“This is a company that had been warned, repeatedly, and continued to flout the law. It is a reminder to everyone providing scaffolding to ensure their systems are up to scratch and their equipment maintained and fit for purpose.”

Key Takeaway:

PCBUs must protect their workers from risk and ensure they have the right tools and PPE for the job.

If you are unsure of your responsibilities, check out our free guide on the Health and Safety at Work Act.