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Health and Safety in Employment Act Reminder from DOL

(PR.co.nz) The Department of Labour has urged employers and people in charge of workplaces to take an active and timely approach to their responsibilities under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSE Act) and to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of their workers. This follows the sentencing of James Hardie New Zealand Limited on 5 March in the Auckland District Court.

A fine of $54,000 and reparation totalling $76,000 were imposed on James Hardie New Zealand Limited in the Auckland District Court following an accident where an employee died in 2009.

An employee died after being crushed in conveying equipment on 14 March 2009. Following the Department of Labour’s investigation into the accident a charge was laid against the company under section 6 of the HSE Act 1992 in July 2009. Section 6 of the HSE Act requires employers to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work. James Hardie New Zealand Limited pleaded guilty to the charge.

The Department of Labour’s Central Auckland Service Manager, Claire Morris says this accident was easily preventable:

“This accident highlights the need for employers to actively inspect machinery and ensure all required safeguards are in place prior to operation. In this case, the accident could have been prevented had the company fitted basic guarding to the conveyor line” Ms Morris says.

Media Release 12 March 2010 from Department of Labour.
Telephone 027 4422 141
Email media@dol.govt.nz

 



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