Two companies have been ordered to pay $320,000 for a breach of health and safety standards after one of their workers was hit by a moving vehicle and subsequently knocked unconscious.

The worker was sent to hospital with a bleeding skull. He experienced loss of smell and taste, heightened light sensitivity and had to take nine months off work.

A WorkSafe investigation found that the employer had told workers on site to “use common sense” surrounding traffic movement. The investigation manager held that this was “completely inadequate” in terms of safety standards.

The companies had taken no additional steps towards health and safety measures, despite knowing the risks of potential traffic hazards.

The injury may have been avoided if the companies had taken additional measures. Some commonly used examples of such measures could be speed bumps, clear separations between vehicles and pedestrians, and proper signage.

The companies had a duty to ensure the health and safety of their workers, so far as reasonably practicable. They also had a duty to ensure that the work place operated with minimal risk, which they failed to do.

The employers had failed to observe either of these duties. The companies were ordered to pay $270,000 in fines and $50,000 in reparation.

 

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