Paul Robert Burr

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
19 December 2013
 
Plea:
• Sections 6, 50(1)(a) and 56: Guilty
• Sections 6, 49(2), 49(3) and 56: Not Guilty
 
Decision:
• Sections 6, 50(1)(a) and 56: Guilty
• Sections 6, 49(2), 49(3) and 56: 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 location of employees is ascertained before commencing mechanical felling of trees.

Defendant name:
Paul Robert Burr
 
Industry:
Forestry
 
Date of offence:
19 December 2013
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant is the sole director and shareholder of Paul Burr Contracting Limited (“the company”). The company is a forestry contractor which fells logs at various forest sites.
The company owns a Volvo digger which is operated solely by Mr Burr.

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 company, 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), 49(3) and 56 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Palmerston North - High Court
 
Plea:
• Sections 6, 50(1)(a) and 56: Guilty
• Sections 6, 49(2), 49(3) and 56: Not Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
• Sections 6, 50(1)(a) and 56: Guilty
• Sections 6, 49(2), 49(3) and 56: Acquitted
 
Fine imposed:
$25,000 payable by Paul Burr personally
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$75,000 payable by Paul Burr Contracting Limited.