The District Court has convicted an employer for Health & Safety breaches, and ordered it to pay $410,000, after an employee fell over three metres from a platform.

The employee was carrying out maintenance on a piece of machinery. There was a platform that the employee did this from. However, the platform lacked any basic safety features.

Despite the employee being required to wear a harness when working at a height, there was no tether point for the harness to attach to near the platform.

When the employee fell from the platform, she fell over three metres onto the ground, resulting in permanent paralysis from her waist down.

Worksafe noted that the employer already had procedures for when employees were working at a height, but they were not effectively implemented.

The Court ordered the employer to pay the employee $100,000 in reparations in addition to imposing a fine of $310,000.

It is not good enough for employers to develop effective health and safety procedures. They must go on, not only to implement the procedures, but to monitor and enforce them consistently.

Failure to get the basics right may result in employees being seriously injured, or killed, and the employer being prosecuted for failing to protect their safety.

If there are concerns about health and safety practices in your workplace, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.


Alan Knowsley