Company fined after worker falls from roof
Auckland company Truestone Limited has been fined $50,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $10,000 after one of its workers fell from a roof he was working on without any fall protection in place.
The worker suffered fractures to his thigh bone and right kneecap as well as cuts, bruises and concussion when he fell off a roof of a property in Orakei in December 2013. He had been told to help with demolition work on the roof of the single story house despite not being trained for such work.
A WorkSafe New Zealand investigation found there was no edge protection in place around the roof to prevent falls and the worker was not provided with a safety harness or other fall protection. The Court also criticised the personal protection gear provided to the worker as ‘woefully inadequate.’
Truestone was found guilty under Section 6 and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its injured employee and was sentenced on Friday in the District Court at Auckland.
WorkSafe’s Programme Manager for Construction, Marcus Nalter, says the injured worker should never have been asked to work at height without any safety measures in place.
“Roof work is inherently risky. This worker was told to take a crowbar and help demolish the roof – there was always the risk that he might fall.
“Truestone put this employee in harm’s way but failed to take the obvious steps to protect him and his co-workers on site. There are a number of safety measures it could have used – from edge protection to safety harnesses.
“There is no excuse for taking such a ‘she’ll be right’ approach to working at height,” says Marcus Nalter.