Fam­ily speak of work­place death pain


Jamey Lee Bowring’s mother wiped away tears as she re­mem­bered her son’s spe­cial smile.

The 24-year-old Huntly man had been weld­ing at Sal­ters Cartage’s haz­ardous waste com­pany at Wiri in south Auck­land on Septem­ber 15, 2015, when the 100,000-litre tank he was on ex­ploded, killing him.

The ex­plo­sion was heard at least 5km away and sent de­bris fly­ing 100 me­tres from the scene.

A sen­tenc­ing hear­ing for Sal­ter’s Cartage, and di­rec­tor Ron Sal­ter, took place in the Manukau District Court last week.

Both the com­pany and Sal­ter, as di­rec­tor, pleaded guilty to 11 charges un­der the Health and Safety in Em­ploy­ment Act 1992.

The com­pany and Sal­ter also pleaded guilty to 22 charges un­der the Haz­ardous Sub­stances and New Or­gan­isms Act, for which the max­i­mum penalty is a $500,000 fine and/or three months im­pris­on­ment for the di­rec­tor.

WorkSafe out­lined in the hear­ing Sal­ters Cartage should be fined $400,000, while Ron Sal­ter should face a sen­tence of home de­ten­tion.

Dur­ing their sub­mis­sions, they ar­gued Sal­ter failed on a num­ber of lev­els to pro­vide a safe work­ing en­vi­ron­ment for Bowring.

Bowring’s mother, Sarah Fer- gu­son, read an emo­tional vic­tim­im­pact state­ment to the court.

‘‘He was so full of life. He was our ev­ery­thing,’’ she said.

‘‘...Ron­ald Sal­ter you have taken all our hap­pi­ness and dreams.’’

Bowring had only re­cently re­turned to work­ing with Fer- gu­son’s part­ner, Trevor Ack­ers, at his Huntly-based com­pany Race­works at the time of his death.

On the day Bowring died, both men were un­der­tak­ing con­tracted main­te­nance works on the tanks at Sal­ters Cartage’s Wiri site.

They had both been on the tank, tidy­ing handrails, when Ack­ers left. He had just made his way down the stairs when the tank ex­ploded.

Sal­ter’s lawyer, Steven Bon­nar QC, read a state­ment from him to the court.

‘‘Let me first be­gin with an apol­ogy to the fam­ily, I am so sorry for the loss of your son.

‘‘I made mis­takes, I am here to­day be­cause of those mis­takes.

Race­works was also charged over the in­ci­dent, and were rep­re­sented in court.

The judge in­di­cated he would re­serve his de­ci­sion and de­liver later this month.

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