The District Court has ordered an employer to pay $369,000 for breaching its health and safety obligations resulting in an employee falling to their death.

The employee was working at a height, and a metal safety wire was in place to prevent falls.

When the employee leaned on the barrier, it snapped, and he fell several meters to the ground. The employee later died in hospital.

The Worksafe investigation found that although there was a metal protector in place, it was extremely corroded, and that led to it snapping.

It was noted that the employer should have regularly inspected the barrier to ensure that it was in good working order, and upon becoming aware of serious corrosion should have replaced it.

The Court held that the employer failed to comply with its obligations to ensure the health and safety of its employees so far as reasonably practicable, and ordered the employer to pay a fine of $279,000 and reparation to the employee’s family of $90,000.

It is important that employers understand their ongoing responsibility to inspect equipment to ensure that it is safe and fit for purpose. Failure to do so may result in significant injury or death to employees, and a potentially expensive prosecution.

If there are concerns that your health and safety policies and processes are not sufficiently comprehensive or robust for your business, it pays 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.