A contractor has fallen three metres after the grating he was standing on gave way. The section of grating was missing some clips and had not been checked before he began work.

The District Court has sentenced two companies under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure a contractor was not harmed doing work he was engaged to perform.

Both companies have been fined $30,000 each. The company who was responsible for the site, where the incident occurred, was ordered to pay an additional $10,000 in emotional harm and reparation. The contractor’s employer avoided this payment as the company had offered him significant support after his fall.

Companies must identify and manage risks at work sites before workers are put in harm’s way. A full hazard assessment of the site would have identified the risk and fixing the grate would have eliminated the hazard.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer Wellington