Co-oper­a­tion key to safety on big projects

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - HEALTH & SAFETY -

Big con­struc­tion projects re­quire co- oper­a­tion be­tween par­ties in or­der to keep peo­ple safe, and WorkSafe is re­mind­ing con­tract­ing firms that New Zealand’s health and safety laws ac­tu­ally re­quire it.

“Build­ing sites can in­volve hun­dreds of peo­ple com­ing and go­ing over the course of a build. Co- op­er­at­ing with other par­ties, and know­ing what safety sys­tems are in place is key to keep­ing work­ers safe from harm.” says WorkSafe Deputy Gen­eral Man­ager, In­ves­ti­ga­tions and Spe­cial­ist Ser­vices, Si­mon Humphries.

Premier Project Man­age­ment Lim­ited was sen­tenced in the Auck­land District Court late last month af­ter an in­ci­dent on an Auck­land build­ing site they were manag­ing where a lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween com­pa­nies led to a worker be­ing se­verely in­jured.

In Septem­ber 2016, a worker em­ployed by an­other con­trac­tor on the site fell six me­tres to the ground af­ter scaf­fold­ing failed. He suf­fered in­juries to his head, ab­domen and arm which re­quired six days hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion and five months away from work.

“Work­ers and con­trac­tors were un­clear on who was re­spon­si­ble for what and as the project man­agers, Premier Project Man­age­ment should have con­sulted and co- or­di­nated their ac­tiv­i­ties with oth­ers on site, par­tic­u­larly about how the risks of the scaf­fold should be man­aged,” said Humphries.

WorkSafe’s In­ves­ti­ga­tion found un­safe scaf­fold­ing, in­ad­e­quate and ir­reg­u­lar scaf­fold in­spec­tions, a lack of sys­tems and pro­ce­dures and a lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co- ordination on the site.

Two other par­ties have been charged in re­la­tion to the in­ci­dent and their cases are still be­fore the Court.

Sum­mary:

• A fine of $14,000 was im­posed.

• Project Man­age­ment Ltd had made a vol­un­tary pay­ment of $5,076 to the vic­tim prior to sen­tenc­ing, and no fur­ther repa­ra­tion was or­dered.

• Premier Project Man­age­ment Lim­ited was charged un­der sec­tions 34(1) and (2)(b) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

• Be­ing a PCBU who had a duty in re­la­tion to work be­ing car­ried out, failed to, so far as was rea­son­ably prac­ti­ca­ble, con­sult, co- op­er­ate the same mat­ter.

• The max­i­mum penalty is a fine not ex­ceed­ing $100,000.

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