An employer has paid over ¼ million dollars in reparation to the family of one of its employees who drowned while at work.  His lifejacket failed to inflate because the gas canisters had been used previously and not replaced.

The Court held that the employee had a high culpability for the employee’s death and this was accepted by the employer.  The only reason a substantial fine was not imposed was because the employer was the NZ Defence Force and the Crown cannot fine itself.

The case is a timely reminder to get your Health & Safety practices sorted before there is a tragedy.