The District Court has ordered an employer to pay $200,000 for breaching their health and safety obligations, resulting in an employee being seriously injured.

The employer was contracted to do work on a site that required it to set up access. It organised that correctly but the equipment was in the way of other work. It arranged for one of its employees to dismantle the equipment and put it back up after the other work was done.

The equipment was not put back together correctly by the employee and they fell off it and received serious head and back injuries.

The employer did not make sure the employee deconstructing and reconstructing the equipment had the appropriate experience to do so correctly.

The Court ordered the employer to pay a fine of $200,000 in addition to the reparations of $60,000 that the employer had already paid the employee.

It is important that employers ensure that their employees are properly trained and experienced. Failing to do so may put themselves or other employees at risk of serious injury, and potentially the company at risk of an expensive prosecution.

If there are concerns about what your H & S obligations are it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

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