A patron has fallen three metres from an unguarded landing on an emergency stairway while attending a quiz night at a Workingman’s Club bar. The visitor stepped out for a cigarette then she lost her footing on the platform. She suffered a brain injury and sustained serious injuries to her spine, shoulder and neck.

The District Court convicted the Club under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its patrons.

WorkSafe New Zealand found that the Club had failed to install safety barriers on the landing and had failed to ensure that the exit to the stairway was appropriately marked as an emergency exit only. WorkSafe New Zealand also noted that the Club had no systems in place to monitor the use of the exit.

The Court fined the Club $39,375 and ordered the Club to pay the patron $45,000 in reparation.