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Worker's fall costs company $62k

Published: 5:18PM Friday February 08, 2013 Source: ONE News

  •  (Source: Photos.com)
    Source: Photos.com

A Wellington company has been fined over a subcontractor's five-and-a-half metre fall at work.

The worker received a broken pelvis and facial injuries in the fall while installing plant and equipment at Silver Fern Farms' Te Aroha freezing works following significant fire damage in January last year.

The man fell through a void on the first floor in which a service lift was to be installed. The hole was covered, but not fixed in place.

Wellington company Ebert Construction Limited was fined $33,750 and being ordered to pay $29,000 in reparations to the worke rin the Auckland District Court on Thursday.

Ebert Construction had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to take all practicable step to ensure that as the Principal, it ensured the employee of a contractor was not harmed while at work.

The worker was working for a subcontractor who Ebert Construction had contracted to complete metal work on the first floor of the plant.

The Ministry's Health and Safety Group's Central Region General Manager, Murray Thompson said the accident was completely avoidable.

"The construction sector is one of New Zealand's most dangerous and the Ministry has a nationwide programme in place to educate employers and employees on the dangers of falls from heights. Work at height must be actively managed so that people are not harmed or killed as a result. Doing nothing is not an option."

"We will not hesitate to prosecute where falls result in serious injury," Thompson said.

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