An employer’s conviction for breaching its health and safety obligations has been upheld by the High Court. One of its employees threw debris, from the roof of its worksite, onto a driveway and hit a passing pedestrian. The person was hit on the head by a wooden roofing batten and had to be taken to hospital.

The Court held that the building constituted a “place of work” which the employer had control over. The Court found that the employer had breached its health and safety obligations by failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that a hazard that arose in the workplace did not harm people within its vicinity. The employer should have placed barriers, ropes or signs around the workplace or employed a spotter to ensure that nobody was injured by the debris.