The District Court has ordered an employer to pay an employee over $400,000 after a fall that left the employee permanently paralysed.

The employer installed an access hatch to a roof that the employee was going to be doing work on.

The employer did not have the hatch inspected by an engineer and it did not meet building code requirements.

When the employee attempted to climb the ladder and use the hatch, he hit his head on the frame, falling 4 metres to the ground.

The employee broke his back as a result of the fall and will never walk again.

Worksafe emphasised the need for employers to complete all work up to code, and use the appropriate professionals to do so. If the employer had used an engineer to assess the hatch before it was used, the entire incident could have been avoided.

The Court ordered the employer to pay the employee $110,000 in reparations and $294,514 in consequential loss.

It is important for employers to make sure any equipment they expect their employees to use is safe, and any associated hazards have been minimised. Failure to do so may result in significant penalties.

If there are concerns about the safety of equipment 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
Health and Safety Lawyer