Roofing company fined after employee falls more than 5 metres
6 OCTOBER 2011
An Auckland roofing company was today fined $8,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $40,000 after an employee fell more than five metres, suffering serious injuries.
The North Shore District Court heard that the employee of Woolley Roofing Limited was putting a new roof on a building in Takapuna in May last year. The roofing iron he was standing on moved and he fell through a hole in the roof, hitting a metal folding machine and then falling to the factory floor.
“It is incredibly fortunate that this worker survived a fall of 5.6 metres – a fall of much less can kill. He did however suffer horrendous injuries including severe head injuries, broken ribs and a punctured lung,” says Department of Labour North Harbour Service Manager, Kris Metcalf.
“Quite simply, this roofing company should have had a hazard management plan in place to reduce the risk of its employees falling from height. Our investigation found that while Woolley Roofing was aware of the hazard, it did nothing to prevent one of its staff members from getting hurt – this is unacceptable.
“There are a number of very basic things the company should have done to prevent this accident. These include using edge protection, scaffolding, safety nets or a safety harness.
“This prosecution should serve as a wake up call for employers who don’t understand the potential consequences of one of their employees falling from height,” Mr Metcalf says.
The Department recently launched the Construction Sector Action Plan which aims to reduce the number and severity of accidents in the construction industry.
Notes to Editor
- Woolley Roofing Limited was convicted on one charge under Section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.
- Section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 states: Every employer shall take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work; and in particular shall take all practicable steps to—
- (a) provide and maintain for employees a safe working environment; and
- (b) provide and maintain for employees while they are at work facilities for their safety and health; and
- (c) ensure that plant used by any employee at work is so arranged, designed, made, and maintained that it is safe for the employee to use; and
- (d) ensure that while at work employees are not exposed to hazards arising out of the arrangement, disposal, manipulation, organisation, processing, storage, transport, working, or use of things—
- (i) in their place of work; or
- (ii) near their place of work and under the employer's control; and
- (e) develop procedures for dealing with emergencies that may arise while employees are at work.
- The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 is available online