A company and its director have been penalised over $380,000 after failing to follow basic health and safety management practises in the workplace which has left an employee paralysed from the neck down. The employee was hit on the back of the neck by a piece of machinery while he was unloading it from a truck.

The District Court convicted the company and director under Health and Safety legislation for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of the employee while at work.

WorkSafe New Zealand found that the company and director had failed to manage the risks associated with using the piece of machinery, and had failed to adequately train the employee in its use and transport.

The company was also criticised for having no emergency plan for when an employee is injured while working alone.

The company was also convicted under the legislation for failing to notify WorkSafe of the incident, for disturbing the incident scene, and for continuing to use the piece of machinery that injured the employee.

Alan Knowsley
Health and Safety Lawyer
Wellington