An employee has fallen 1.47 metres from an elevated work platform, and sustained a serious brain injury.

The District Court charged the employer under Health and Safety legislation for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees.

The employer’s health and safety policy required guardrails for all working platforms over three metres in height, but had no requirement for platforms less than three metres in height. A low hanging chain barrier was therefore the only fall protection for the employee working on the platform.

WorkSafe New Zealand found that the employer should have identified the risks of working at heights of less than three metres, and should have provided adequate guard railing in adherence with the international standard NZS/AS 1657.

The Court sentenced and fined the employer $36,000 and ordered the employer to pay $21,118 in reparation and costs to the injured employee.