In­surer to ap­peal court de­ci­sion

Waihi Leader - - News -

Gold min­ing com­pany OceanaGold says as­pects of the re­cent de­ci­sion of the District Court about the death of one of its work­ers on site will be ap­pealed by the com­pany’s in­sur­ers.

OceanaGold has said it will en­sure the ap­peal does not af­fect the sum it pays to the miner’s fam­ily.

Bernie O’Leary, gen­eral man­ager of OceanaGold Waihi, says the com­pany ac­cepts that this is only the sec­ond sen­tenc­ing for a work­place death un­der the new work­place health and safety laws in­tro­duced in 2016, with im­por­tant le­gal prin­ci­ples still to be re­solved. At the same time the com­pany will con­tinue to sup­port the miner’s fam­ily.

“This ap­peal is not some­thing we would ini­ti­ate, but we un­der­stand why the wider in­sur­ance in­dus­try is looking for clar­ity in this area and that this be­comes, to some ex­tent, a test case.”

The judge­ment de­liv­ered by the District Court on 9 May this year im­posed a fine of $378,000 un­der the Work­place Health and Safety Act 2015 fol­low­ing the com­pany’s ac­cep­tance of li­a­bil­ity for the death of one of its em­ploy­ees in July 2016. Repa­ra­tions of $350,000 to the fam­ily were also or­dered. O’Leary says that this was in ad­di­tion to a sig­nif­i­cant sum al­ready paid to the fam­ily by the min­ing com­pany.

“Ir­re­spec­tive of the out­come of this ap­peal, we will make sure that the fam­ily is looked after and does not face the risk of reduced repa­ra­tions on ap­peal. Our first pri­or­ity is to make sure that we look after our own.”

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