Photo credit: http://www.cover4directors.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ConstructionHS5.jpg
In the past week two construction workers have been tragically killed in a work site incident in Perth. This may serve as an important reminder to all involved in the industry that construction sites are an inherently dangerous workplace and that a lax attitude to health and safety can have catastrophic consequences for workers.
Section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 provides that Employers must provide and maintain a safe working environment for employees.
As we highlighted in a previous blog post, the new Health and Safety at Work Act will come into effect on 4 April 2016. It requires that a person conducing a business or undertaking to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their workers and that no one is put at risk from the work being carried out.
Breaches of statutory duties relating to health and safety have shown to open up a construction company to considerable fines, reparation costs and may even result in a manslaughter charge of the company director in question.
An Auckland company was recently fined $36,000 plus an additional $80,000 in reparations for the death of a crane operator who inadvertently activated his remote control while undertaking maintenance in December 2013. In Matamata, another construction company is likely facing a “hefty penalty” after a builder was tragically killed last May when a trench collapsed.
Perhaps it is worth considering a review of your safety processes and response plans, to ensure that the “silly season” does not prevent anyone from enjoying their summer.