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.