The District Court has convicted a company and ordered it to pay $380,000 after a lack of health and safety procedures led to a fatal accident which killed three people.

The Court found that whilst the company had adequate health and safety policies in place, they were not followed in this circumstance. Also there had been three prior incidents in the months leading up to the accident, none of which were reported or investigated.

During the investigation into the accident, it was found that the implementation of procedures that mitigate the risks are required by any company operating machinery in this industry.

The Court decided that the starting point for a fine should be $500,000, but because the company had admitted its culpability, and has since taken significant steps to remedy the failures, this penalty should be lessened.

A fine of $315,000 was imposed on the company, as well as $65,000 in legal costs.

If there is confusion around the necessary health and safety provisions for a company, it is wise to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.

 

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Alan Knowsley & Matthew Binnie

Litigation Team
Wellington