Paul Burr Contracting Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
19 December 2013
 
Plea:
• Sections 6 and 50(1)(a): Guilty
• Sections 6, 49(2) and 49(3): Not Guilty
 
Decision:
• Sections 6 and 50(1)(a): Convicted
• Sections 6, 49(2) and 49(3): Acquitted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$25,000 payable by Paul Burr personally

Safety lessons learned:
  1. Provide an effective means of communication on work sites to ascertain the location of all employees on the site; and
  2. Ensure the whereabouts of employees is ascertained before commencing mechanical felling of trees.

Defendant name:
Paul Burr Contracting Limited
 
Industry:
Forestry
 
Date of offence:
19 December 2013
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant company is a forestry contractor and who employed two workers at the time of the incident.

The Defendant owned a Volvo digger which was operated solely by Mr Burr, the sole director and shareholder of the company.

On the day of the incident, Mr Burr was using the Volvo digger to fell a tree which was approximately 29 metres in height and located on a slope (“the tree”).
The victim, an employee of the Defendant, had been instructed to manually fell four trees. The victim was standing alongside the trees he had manually felled approximately 7 metres behind the Volvo digger and 17 metres from the stump of the tree. The tree did not fall into the slope, instead it fell backwards and the victim was killed.
 
Related prosecutions:
 
Offence section:
• Sections 6 and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
• Sections 6, 49(2) and 49(3) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Palmerston North - High Court
 
Plea:
• Sections 6 and 50(1)(a): Guilty
• Sections 6, 49(2) and 49(3): Not Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
• Sections 6 and 50(1)(a): Convicted
• Sections 6, 49(2) and 49(3): Acquitted
 
Fine imposed:
$25,000 payable by Paul Burr personally
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$75,000 payable by Paul Burr Contracting Limited.