The District Court has convicted an employer after an employee of a contractor was injured when moving machinery for repair.  The employer had contracted out the repair work to the employee’s firm and that firm had sub-contracted another firm to assist it with carrying out the removal of the machinery.

Unfortunately, during the removal of the machinery an employee of the contractor was injured when a cable was cut and he was crushed by part of the machine.

Although the work had been contracted out for repair, the Court held that the owner of the machine was liable because they had not ensured that suitably qualified people were engaged to undertake the repair work.  They also failed to have a manufacturer’s manual available for the contractors to consult when removing the machinery.  In addition the owner of the machine had not properly carried out a risk assessment in relation to the removal of the machinery.

It is important to remember that, even if you contract out work, you can remain liable for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act because you still retain your duties despite your contracting out of the work.

The owner of the machine was fined $225,000 and was also ordered to pay reparation of $25,000.

Alan Knowsley
Health & Safety Lawyer