An employer has found out the hard way how expensive it can get when they fail to properly assess health & safety risks and fail to identify issues and train staff to deal with them and as a result a worker has suffered serious injuries from which they have not yet recovered.

A worker was seriously injured when a truck was being unloaded and the goods being delivered fell on him. The truck was on an incline which made the danger of tipping more likely. In addition the truck’s suspension was faulty which altered the angle of the truck. In addition the staff had not been sufficiently trained in safe unloading on a steep site and ensuring a level truck.

The starting point for a fine was $80,000 but this was reduced to $54,000 for the company’s prior good record and cooperation with Work Safe. The fine was further reduced to $42,000 for an early guilty plea.

In addition the company was ordered to pay $45,000 reparation to the worker injured in the accident.

The Court found that the practical steps the company should have taken to prevent the accident were obvious, easy to perform and inexpensive to implement. This meant that the failure to do them was all the more serious.

Alan Knowsley
Health & Safety Lawyer