The District Court has ordered an employer to pay over $317,000 after a gate fell on an employee, causing severe injuries.

The employer manages farms on which there are mechanised gates. The gates run along a track, powered by a motor.

The employee was helping a co-worker open the gate. That particular gate was known to have come off its rails before, and to need manual help to get it to work. The gate came off its tracks, crushing the employee underneath it. The employee suffered concussion and spinal injuries.

The Court held that the employer failed to carry out regular checks to ensure that all machinery on the farm was working properly. Additionally, there was no training, or any policies in place, to stop employees trying to move heavy equipment manually.

The Court ordered the employer to pay a fine of $270,937 and $46,072 compensation to the injured employee.

When working with machinery, it is important to regularly check it is operating correctly. Failure to do so may expose employees to significant risk of injury and employers to prosecution.

If there are health and safety concerns at your workplace, it is wise 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.

Alan Knowsley
Health and Safety Lawyer