25 Sep The Consequences of Getting Health and Safety Wrong
This is a warning to all businesses after a recent High Court judgement that has given guidelines to sentence employers who fail to protect the health and safety of workers.
The judgement stems from the 2015 Health and Safety at Work Act and gives guidelines to sentencing people found guilty under Section 48 of the Act (failing to comply with a duty and exposing a person to risk of death, serious injury or illness).
In the August 9 ruling, the High Court agreed with WorkSafe over its application of a four-step plan to address serious breaches of the Act.
We recommend that you read this article and then pass it on to your employers, directors and others.
Another recent investigation
In another high-profile investigation published 2 weeks ago, four companies were taken to task by WorkSafe, when it investigated a fatal accident where a woman (taking samples of kiwifruit) rolled a quad bike into a drain and died.
The points that came out of this were that all the four parties involved were investigated, and the depth of the investigation that was carried out by WorkSafe was intense and sweeping.
A key part to the investigations was to identify:
- the level of training that had taken place with the victim;
- the check on her competency;
- the maintenance of the four-wheeler;
- the level of site induction and who was responsible for this;
- the availability of an orchard map to show the hazards or no-go zones, in this case the drains in the orchard;
- and several other contributing factors.
If your business was involved in a WorkSafe investigation, could your business quickly provide proof to defend itself for points 1-4 above?
The added concerning factor associated with any WorkSafe investigation is the associated costs involved to the business for such an incident. Just something to think about.
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