Construction firm fined for fall from height risk
Taylor Construction 2011 Limited has been fined $36,750 following a guilty plea entered under sections 6 and 50 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act. They failed to keep their workers safe by exposing them to the risk of a fall from height while doing construction work.
The building company was sentenced and fined last night in the Manukau District Court.
Taylor Construction 2011 Limited was contracted to do construction work at a building site in Botany. On 24 November 2014 a prohibition notice was issued to the building company that Taylor Construction 2011 Limited was contracted to for work on the site. The notice was issued as there was no edge protection to keep workers safe while working at height on the site. The prohibition notice stated that no further construction work could continue on the site until the notice was lifted by an inspector.
The next day two WorkSafe inspectors and a trainee inspector did a follow up visit. They found the director/employee of Taylor Construction 2011 Limited, who was also in charge of the work site at the time, walking along the roof trusses. Inspectors asked him to come down for his own safety but they were ignored. The inspectors did an inspection of the site and observed that the edge protection and timber platforms used for working at height were inadequate and unsafe.
“Working from height is a well-known risk in the construction industry and has the potential to cause serious harm,” says John Howard, WorkSafe’s Chief Inspector Assessments for the Northern region.
“Falls from three metres or less off roofs and from ladders account for most of the serious harm incidents reported to WorkSafe from the construction sector. More injuries happen on residential building sites than any other workplace in the construction sector.
“This risk was not new to Taylor Construction 2011 Limited as they had received a separate prohibition notice on a prior occasion for inadequate fall protection. There are numerous and flexible ways of managing height safety effectively and efficiently. The guidelines for working at height are easily available on WorkSafe’s website and outline solutions for employers to consider when deciding how to keep people safe from a fall.”