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Inadequate scaffolding leads to fine
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Inadequate scaffolding leads to fine

16 July 2014

An Auckland roofing company has been convicted and fined for failing to ensure it had adequate measures in place to protect its workers from the risk of falling from a second-story roof.

WorkSafe New Zealand prosecuted Eden Homes Development after its employees Wei Qiang Sun and Ming Han were seen installing a roof in Glenfield without adequate edge-protection to help prevent falls. No accident actually occurred.

Eden Homes Development was yesterday fined $15,000 at the North Shore District Court for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees.

Scaffolding at the site was incomplete, and only provided protection for the first level of the construction site. It was arranged by the homeowner, not Eden Homes Development.

WorkSafe NZ’s Chief Investigator, Keith Stewart, says making the pair work at height without the appropriate scaffolding put them at real and unacceptable risk.

“Eden Homes Development should have ensured the scaffolding and edge protection was complete and adequate before allowing work to commence. The contract for the project should either have included the provision of scaffolding by the company, or required the homeowner to install it before work could begin.

“What is more, the company also failed to provide its workers with any other equipment to protect them and minimise the risk of falls in the absence of proper edge protection.

“Eden Homes Development also should have had a clear policy that employees will not carry out work at height if edge or fall protection is not in place. Quite simply, the company failed its workers.

“It was only a matter of good luck rather than good management that no-one was hurt in this case. This prosecution serves as a strong reminder to everyone in the building industry of the importance of ensuring they have proper protections in place before beginning any work at height,” says Keith Stewart.

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