A building development company has been fined $100,000 after a retired man was fatally injured when he fell from a mobility scooter on a piece of footpath they had damaged
The footpath had been damaged by heavy vehicles during the development of a Papatoetoe housing site.
When the victim was driving his mobility scooter, it tipped on the uneven terrain. He then fell to the ground and was fatally injured.
WorkSafe says the circumstances are a reminder that workplaces have a responsibility for others interacting with their worksite, as well as those completing work on it.
WorkSafe’s investigation found there was significant pedestrian activity on the footpath and that YSB Group did not identify the damaged footpath as a risk.
The investigation also found that it would have been reasonably practicable for YSB Group to block off the damaged footpath, establish a safe alternative route for pedestrians and to have developed, implemented and communicated a site access plan.
WorkSafe’s Head of Specialist Interventions Simon Humphries says that pedestrians frequently have interactions with worksites – even if they aren’t directly on them.
“We expect all workplaces to think broadly about the impacts of their activities on the health and safety of everyone at a workplace,” he explains.
“Other people potentially at risk from work activities include volunteers, customers, passers-by, visitors, or workers from another entity.
“Some simple actions from YSB Group, and consideration of others interacting with their worksite could have saved this man’s life.”
One other party has been charged in relation to the matter, but are yet to appear in court.
YSB Group Limited was sentenced under sections 36(2), 48(1) and (2)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015:
“Being a PCBU failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health and safety of other persons, was not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking.”
The Manukau District Court imposed a fine of $100,000, reduced from a starting point of $550,000 for mitigating factors and financial circumstances, and reparation of $100,000 was ordered.
The maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding $1,500,000.