Ignore prohibition notices at your peril
Builder Grant Collings has been fined $18,000 in the Christchurch District Court today for breaching a WorkSafe New Zealand prohibition notice which was issued to prevent workers from the continued risk of a likelihood of serious harm.
On 3 December 2013, WorkSafe New Zealand inspectors found four of Mr Collings employees re-roofing a house with no fall protection in place. When they issued Mr Collings the prohibition notice, he ignored it and refused to get his employees down off the roof, placing them at risk of serious injury.
As the person in control of the building site, Mr Collings was responsible for the health and safety of his employees - he was found guilty under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.
Mr Collings left the site before WorkSafe New Zealand inspectors finished issuing the prohibition notice. The notice was left at the workplace, stuck to a handrail right next to the ladder which led to the roof. The notice clearly stated that no further work could continue until the notice was lifted by an inspector.
Five hours later, the inspectors returned to the site and found the same workers on the roof. “Mr Collings displayed a blatant disregard for the health and safety of his employees,” says Keith Stewart, WorkSafe New Zealand’s Chief Inspector.
“Mr Colling’s inaction in not ensuring that the notice was complied with put his staff at further risk. That is unacceptable.
“Falls from roofs and ladders account for most of the serious harm accidents in the construction sector reported to WorkSafe New Zealand. More injuries happen on residential building sites than any other workplace in the construction sector."