Wai Shing Ltd have been fined $386,300 for an incident that left one of their former workers a tetraplegic.
The company and it’s director were ordered to pay in fines and reparations in the Pukekohe District Court on Monday 22 May.
The victim was unable to move for several hours after he was struck on the back of the neck by a harvester, while he unloaded it. He remains paralysed from the neck down and requires 24-hour care.
They were fined for failing to take steps to ensure the safety of an employee while at work.
WorkSafe General Manager Operations and Specialist Services, Brett Murray said, “Wai Shing Ltd hadn’t followed basic health and safety management practices such as understanding and managing risks associated with using the harvester, despite using it since 1996.”
“In addition, the victim was inadequately trained in its use or transport and the company had no emergency plan to cover when a person is injured while working alone,” he said.
The company was also charged under sections 25 and 26 of the Health and Safety Act 1992, after it failed in its duty to notify WorkSafe after the incident, disturbed the incident scene and continued using the harvester that injured the worker.
It also failed to mention the incident two weeks later when WorkSafe inspectors visited on an unrelated matter. WorkSafe was only alerted to the incident nearly six months later by the victim’s wife.