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Court Summary - at a glance
1. Provide a safe system of work by;
- ensuring the site had identified breaking out specific hazards and safe work plans via a breaking out plan;
- providing workers with equipment to measure the safe retreat distance;
- ensuring workers were provided with appropriate training, training plan and competency assessments;
- following policies and procedures set out in the health and safety manual;
- stopping breaking out activity if suitably competent workers were not available;
2. Supervise workers by;
- ensuring constant supervision for unqualified and inexperienced breaker outs;
- ensuring a Head Breaker Out (“HBO”) with equivalent competency to a HBO holding unit standard 1258 was present on the breaking out face at all time during breaking out;
3. Provide the necessary information to all workers by communicating and recording daily hazards and work plans.
There was no breaking out plan on the day of the incident and the wirers on the site had not been adequately informed of the site-specific hazards. There was no equipment for the workers to measure safe retreat distances and the only form of communication was a radio.
The workers had not been informed of the emergency plan. When workers were made aware of the incident work stopped and the workers got to the victim as soon as possible. The accident site was steep hill country with logging debris covering the ground that made getting to the victim difficult. At no time was 111 called.
The victim suffered fracture of the lateral tibia plateau to the left leg. This required 4 days hospitalisation including open reduction internal fixation surgery.
Regulation 14(5) and 14(6)(b) of the Health and Safety at Work Act General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016