'This worker was lucky to escape this incident with his life'

The company was sentenced under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and fined $332,060

'This worker was lucky to escape this incident with his life'

Are your workers operating at height? If so, it’s essential to ensure that failsafe measures are in place, according to WorkSafe in the wake of a sentencing decision released by the Hamilton District Court.

Electrix Limited has been sentenced after a worker harnessed to the top of a 30-metre temporary transmission tower was injured in August 2016 when it fell to the ground leaving him with multiple injuries.

The company was sentenced under sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and 2(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, and a fine of $332,060 was imposed. The maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding $1,500,000.

The temporary tower was installed as part of the development of the Waikato Expressway.

Moreover, WorkSafe’s investigation found that the tower was not safely secured for the work being undertaken on it.

The company was found to have:

  • Failed to develop and implement a safe system of work.
  • Failed to ensure the tower was erected in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Failed to ensure the competency of its workers on the towers.

WorkSafe’s head of specialist interventions, Simon Humphries, said the sentencing should remind those working in the industry to ensure they understand and mitigate the many risks associated with that industry.

“The fact that tower fell in the first place is completely unacceptable,” said Humphries.

“If you are expecting your workers to carry out their duties 30 metres in the air, then as an employer you need to have absolute and failsafe measures in place to keep those workers safe.

“This worker was lucky to escape this incident with his life, but will carry the injuries and trauma sustained in the incident with him for the rest of his life.”

In New Zealand, more than 40 workers between the age of 18 and 30 years old have lost their lives in the workplace since 2013.


Related stories:
Employer fined $371K after worker crushed by machine
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