Two construction companies have been ordered to pay $366,000 in fines and reparations after a builder fell and broke his spine, leaving him paralysed. Photo / 123rf
Two construction companies have been ordered to pay $366,000 in fines and reparations after a builder fell and broke his spine, leaving him paralysed.
WorkSafe brought the charges against the builder’s employer, Chunda, and the property developer, JMK Homes, both sentenced at the North Shore District Court in Auckland in March.
Last week they were ordered to pay fines totalling $259,000 and reparations totalling $107,000.
WorkSafe’s area investigation manager, Danielle Henry, said the builder fell three metres from an unguarded second floor void on a construction site in 2020 and can no longer work as a builder.
“The injuries the victim suffered were entirely preventable if controls, including edge protection, had been in place to address the risks of a fall from height,” Henry said.
“They are inexpensive, easy to obtain and easy to set up.”
She said a lack of planning and implementation of safety measures from both companies led to the accident.
“This was demonstrated in the immediate aftermath of the incident when edge protection was installed by workers using construction materials available on site,” Henry said.
“It was confirmed to WorkSafe this only happened after the incident. This is an indictment on the business and further underlines how avoidable this injury was.”
Chunda was on notice to do more to keep workers safe and WorkSafe had issued multiple warnings and directives to the company since 2017.
Henry said this included seven prohibition notices, two sustained compliance letters, one directive letter and two improvement notices.
“WorkSafe had a number of interactions with Chunda, and they were on notice to up their game and keep workers safe,” she said.
“This included providing them with guidance and information related to risk management. This is why this incident is, in our eyes, unforgivable and inexcusable given the track record.”
Both companies were charged under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
Leave a Reply