Over $182,000 reparation has been ordered in two health and safety prosecutions against two related companies over two separate incidents.

$140,000 was ordered in relation to a fatal explosion and $41,010 relating to a logging accident (thankfully not fatal).

However, both companies have been placed into liquidation so the victims and/or families are not likely to see any of the reparation paid.

Reparation orders do not have any priority over unsecured creditors so are last equal in getting paid.

In neither case was an officer of the company prosecuted because both incidents happened just before the new Health and Safety at Work Act came into effect in April 2016.

Under the new law officers (including directors) can be liable for breaches so winding up their companies will not save them from personal liability.

However, it is a watch this space situation as despite the new law being in place for over a year no prosecutions of officers have been reported by WorkSafe so far.

Alan Knowsley
Health & Safety Lawyer