A woman has fallen 3 metres after taking part in a high ropes course as part of a team building activity. The woman was attached to a harness, rope and belay system and was being lowered to the ground by two of her colleagues when they lost control of the belay. The woman suffered several spinal fractures and a spinal cord injury.

The District Court sentenced the employer under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to take all practicable steps to keep a paying customer safe at a place of work.

WorkSafe New Zealand found that the equipment and course were in good working order but that the level of instructor qualification and supervision failed to meet industry good practice or the company’s Code of Practice.

The Court fined the employer $46,000 and ordered the company to pay $40,000 in reparation to the injured woman.