Health & Safety Law




Footpath damaged by construction leads to elderly man’s death
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.  Click here to read the story

28 JUNE 2019
Builders seriously injured after companies fail to cooperate
When multiple companies are working on site there is a legal requirement that they consult, cooperate and coordinate with each other to ensure the health and safety of everyone. Continue

31 MAY 2019
South Island Construction company sentenced after vehicle fatality
Click here to read the story
(source: Safety News June 2019)

15 MAY 2019

Scaffold collapse highlights the importance of safe design
A scaffolding company has been fined $150,000 after a poorly designed scaffold collapsed while seven people were working on it Affordable Scaffolding (2010) Limited was sentenced at the Auckland District Court last month following the February 2017 incident involving a scaffold erected under the Panmure Bridge in Auckland. Continue

14 MAY 2019
Gasfitter sentenced to community detention after installing faulty fireplace
Tauranga gasfitter Patrick Dykes has been sentenced to four months community detention after a gas fireplace he installed incorrectly caught fire causing significant damage to a house.

Patrick Joseph Dykes appeared at the Tauranga District Court last week after his company was hired to install a gas fireplace at a home in Tauranga.

In August 2017, two months after the installation of the gas fireplace, there was a fire at the home which caused extensive damage. While no one was injured, the house was left uninhabitable.  Read the full media release

13 MAY 2019
Two Companies heavily fined for workers hand injuries
Two companies have been heavily fined after a worker suffered a significant hand injury while operating a machine used to cut firewood Davies Tree Service Limited employed the worker and MMD Engineering Limited manufactured the machine and both were sentenced at the Christchurch District Court following the June 2017 incident. Continue
Sourced from Industrial Safety News, May 2019

23 MARCH 2018
Whangarei firm fined $370K after worker submerges foot in molten zinc
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"sourced – Stuff"

20 JUNE 2017
50k fine for workers leg being crushed
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"sourced – NZ Herald"

29 MAY 2017

Fullers ordered to pay $100k to victim
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"sourced – NZ Herald"

22 MAY 2017
Company and director fined for incident that left a man a tetraplegic

Disregard for employee health and safety left a worker a tetraplegic, and resulted in a total of $386,300 in fines and reparation for a horticultural company and its director in the Pukekohe District Court today.  Read more

16 SEPT 2016
Hamilton City Council sentenced after zookeeper killed by tiger
Hamilton City Council has been ordered to pay reparations of $5,180 to each of zookeeper Samantha Kudeweh’s two children. Ms Kudeweh was killed by a tiger while working at Hamilton Zoo last year.   Read more

12 SEPT 2016
Timaru construction firm fined after worker injured in 2.9m fall
The importance of training and hazard management while working at height has been highlighted at a Timaru District Court sentencing today. Read more

15 AUG 2016
Hamilton flooring company fined after employee suffers serious burns
A commercial and residential flooring company has been fined $33,125 and ordered to pay reparations totalling $24,482.88 after an employee was left with serious burns in an incident involving the ignition of flammable solvent adhesive while installing vinyl flooring.  Read more

11 MAY 2016
First day on the job death leads to $180k fine/reparation
A Gisborne-based logging transport operator has been fined $80,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $100,000 in relation to the death of a contractor who was fatally run over during his first day on the job.  Read more

18 APRIL 2016
Company fined after nine tonne truck hoist crushes mechanic
Agricultural contracting company, John Austin Limited, has been fined $36,750 and ordered to pay reparations of $65,554 after a mechanic was crushed by a nine tonne truck hoist, leaving him with two severe breaks to his pelvis, deep bruising and nerve damage. Read more...

23 MARCH 2016
Company director given home detention after worker buried in trench collapse
The director of Waikato company Steelcon Construction Limited, Rodney Bishop, has been sentenced to four months home detention over the death of a worker who died after he was buried when a trench he was working in collapsed. Read more...

Charges laid over Hamilton zookeeper death
WorkSafe New Zealand is prosecuting the Hamilton City Council over the death of a Hamilton zookeeper on 20 September 2015.  Read more...

7 MARCH 2016
Fruit and veg processor to pay over $250,000 for finger amputations

In a reserved decision released today, Prepared Produce Limited was fined $196,406.25 for six offences and ordered to pay $57,000 in reparation to three victims. Read more...

29 FEB 2016
Te Awamutu club ordered to pay over $84K after patron injured in fall from height
The importance of taking adequate steps to manage a hazard, specifically a fall from height, was highlighted last Thursday in a District Court sentencing of a Te Awamutu club. Read more...

10 DEC 2015
Fine after teen worker injured
Benchmark-Construction Limited has been fined $43,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $40,000 to a young worker who has hit by a bucket attachment that came loose from an excavator.  Read more..

18 NOV 2015
Company ordered to pay $116,000 over crane death
Auckland company AJ Russell Bricklayers Limited has been ordered to pay reparation of $80,000 and been fined $36,000 over the death of an experienced crane operator who was crushed between the boom of a crane and a truck deck. Read more...

Fine over effluent pond drowning
Pig farmers Houtimata Farm Limited has been fined $40,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $75,000 after one of its employees drowned in an unfenced, uncovered effluent pond.

25 SEPT 2015
Timber company fined after worker loses fingers and thumb
New Zealand Timber Limited has been fined $51,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $38,000 after an employee had the tip of a thumb and the fingers on his right hand amputated. Read more...

19 SEPT 2015
Quarry operator fined after employee falls from work platform

A South Island quarry operator has been fined $36,000 and ordered to pay $21,118 in reparations and costs related to the injuries suffered after an employee fell from an elevated work platform on a hammer mill machine, sustaining a fractured skull, concussion, a brain haemorrhage and a bruised hip. Read more...

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. Read more...

Supermarket operator fined $77,300 after worker injured in gate collapse
The company operating a Dunedin Countdown supermarket where a security gate collapsed on an employee has been fined $44,300 and ordered to pay reparations of $33,000. Read more...

3 SEPT 2015
Media release - Hutt company fined after worker loses four fingers

Petone importer and manufacturer European Profile Company Limited has been fined $24,375 and ordered to pay reparation of $17,500 after a worker had four fingers amputated by a wood cutting machine while at work.  Read more...

18 AUG 2015
Media release - Aluminium company to pay 48K after employee burnt at work

McKechnie Aluminium Solutions Limited has been fined $33,000 and ordered to pay $15,000 in reparation after an explosion caused serious burns to an employee’s foot, and superficial burns to his left hand, arm, chest and head.  Read more...

15 JULY 2015
Media release - Company to pay $66,799.50 after employee shot by nail gun

VIP Frames & Trusses Limited has been ordered by the Court to pay $$66,799.50 after an employee was seriously injured when a nail shot from a nail gun hit him in the chest. The nail punctured his pericardium and lung, and narrowly missed his heart. The nail was subsequently removed in surgery.  Read more...

29 JUNE 2015
Media release - Company fined after worker loses leg
Tree Scape Limited has been fined $24,750 and ordered to pay reparation of $35,000 after an employee had his right leg amputated after it got pulled into a wood chipper machine. Read more...

25 JUNE 2015
Media release - Director fined $25,000 for ignoring prohibition notice
Ranjit Singh, the sole Director of Nihal Homes (NZ) Limited, was convicted and fined $25,000 on Tuesday at the Auckland District Court under section 43 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act. Mr Singh ignored a prohibition notice issued after asbestos was found at a worksite in Symonds Street. Read more...

06 MAY 2015
Media release -
Always identify workplace hazards

The Hawera District Court has ordered two companies to pay fines and reparation totalling $70,000 after a worker fell into a cellar at a mothballed oil and gas facility in Taranaki. Read more...Media release - Employer to pay employee $80,000 after tree trunk fractures skull
Gardening business Hao & Liu Union Limited has been ordered to pay reparation of $80,000 after an employee suffered a severe brain injury and a depressed skull fracture when a tree trunk struck him on the head and back. Read more...

30 APRIL 2015
Media release - Hastings District Council to pay $94,500 for child’s death in park
Hastings District Council has been fined $29,500 and ordered to pay reparation of $65,000 (on top of $12,356.70 already paid) after a tractor mower, operated by one of their employees at a public park, struck a child and killed him.  Read more...

17 APRIL 2015
Media release - Sort your hazards so staff stay safe
Logistics company Hall’s Direct Limited has been fined $50,500 and ordered to pay reparation of $25,000 after one of their trucks reversed into an employee, Peter Lepou, pinning him against a loading bay. Read more...

20 MARCH 2015
Media release - Harcourts fined for rental property safety failings
Harcourts Timaru was fined $55,000 and required to pay $12,500 reparation for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of gas appliances and fittings when leasing out a property and for engaging a person who was not authorised to do gas-fitting. Read more...

16 FEBRUARY 2015
Media release - Don’t be blasé about toxic fumes and confined spaces
Waterproofing company Gunac Hawke’s Bay Limited has been fined $33,750 and ordered to pay reparation of $2,500 after one of its employees was overcome by toxic fumes.  Read more...

13 FEBRUARY 2015
Media release - Company director sentenced to home detention for safety failings
The Director of a house-moving company has been sentenced to four months home detention, and his company fined $60,000, after a house he was transporting brought down a power line. The power line was left live on the side of the road, killing six lambs, five ewes and two sheep dogs. The shepherd narrowly avoided being electrocuted in the incident.  Read more...

21 JANUARY 2015
Machine guards are there for a reason
Commercial laundry company Alsco NZ has been fined $38,250 and been ordered to pay $7,500 in reparation after a worker had their hand crushed in the rollers of an unguarded folder machine. Read more...Orchard company to pay $134,500 over worker death
AB Wood Holdings Limited has been fined $49,500 and ordered to pay $85,000 in reparation after an employee died when the tractor he was using to mow grass rolled down an embankment, pinning him underneath it and fatally injuring him.  Read more...

16 JANUARY 2015
Manage your hazards – no matter how big the job
Logging company Mangorei Sawmill Limited (MSL) has been fined $20,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $10,000 after a digger lost traction and rolled down an embankment – with an employee, Mark Chapman, still inside. Read more...

16 DECEMBER 2014
Media release - Wear helmets on quad bikes – they’re part of the job
A farming couple from Canvastown near Blenheim have been fined $20,000 each for offences involving the use of quad bikes on the farm where they have a share-milking partnership.  Read more...

12 DEC 2014
Media release - Fine for failing to test for asbestos
Peter Page, the manager of Apartment Renovation Company, has been fined $40,000 after he failed to test a substance for asbestos. Mr Page was obliged to have the textured ceilings tested for asbestos prior to commencing the work.  Read more...


16 MAY 2019
Information on trench engulfment
Click here to read the story

15 MAY 2019
Man dies after workplace fall from building in Auckland
Click here to read the story

2 APRIL 2019
Deadly dangers of organic solvents
In two separate events, two workers fell unconscious and later died as a likely result of acute exposure to organic solvents, highlighting the serious health and safety risks of using organic solvents in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation and lack of personal protective equipment... READ MORE

Wellbeing top of mind for younger farmers
Workload, fatigue, relationships, sleep and time off farm, are some of the main challenges facing younger farmers today, so it is no surprise that farmers under 35 want to invest more in their wellbeing, new research has found... READ MORE

Forklift incident reminder for companies to learn from mistakes
PBT Transport Limited was fined $250,000 following an incident in September 2016 where a worker sustained back injuries, after the freight cage he was working in fell three metres from forklift tines... READ MORE

9 JUNE 2017
Man trapped under beam dies

WorkSafe investigate as man reportedly trapped under beam at Rolleston business hub dies.  read more

16 MAY 2017
Meat works in court over workplace accidents
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"sourced – NZ Herald"

11 APRIL 2017
Man crushed to death and one critically injured working near Queenstown

Click here to read the story
"sourced – NZ Herald online April 2017"

 10 MARCH 2017
Severe injury due to timber supply company’s poor safety systems

The importance of effective health and safety systems and practices in the workplace was highlighted at the sentencing of landscaping and outdoor timber supplier TW Transport Ltd today (10 March), after an employee lost two fingers while using an unsafe rotating blade saw to cut timber.  Read more

24 FEB 2017
Bluff Port Death
Man run over by a loader. Read more

 21 FEB 2017
Scaffolding collapses under a bridge in East Auckland

6 Workers involved and one trapped. Read more

20 FEB 2017
Safety in hardware supplier yards - Bulletin
Timber and building hardware merchants are being reminded to assess and manage their risks following a recent case where a builder was injured by timber that fell from a high rack.  Read more

7 NOV 2016
Lessons to be learned from workplace fatality

A workplace fatality involving an exploding bitumen emulsion tank has important lessons for industry according to WorkSafe New Zealand.  Read more

12 AUG 2016
Plan launched to reduce health risks at work
A 10-year plan to address health risks in New Zealand’s workplaces was launched in Wellington by the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Hon Michael Woodhouse. Read more

23 MARCH 2016
Keep Calm and Keep Safe
Calm down - that's the message from WorkSafe Chief Executive Gordon MacDonald two weeks out from the implementation of the new Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) on 4 April. Read more...

7 MARCH 2016
Preparation for New Health and Safety Law Vital for Directors
Click here to read...

3 MARCH 2016
Mai Chen: Big shifts coming under new Health and Safety at Work Act
Click here to read...

18 FEB 2016
Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 - New Regulations Out Now
Click here to read...

16 NOV 2015
Taradale Primary School investigation complete
WorkSafe New Zealand has completed its investigation into the tragic death of a pupil at Taradale Primary School and will not be taking any legal action. Read more...

10 JUNE 2015
Media release - Adequate machine guarding is a must

Nelson Pine Industries Limited has been fined $45,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $10,000 after one of its workers was injured while trying to clear a log jam on a conveyor belt by hand. Read more...

9 MARCH 2015
Media release - Hundreds of rebuild workers to get free work health checks
Around four hundred Canterbury construction workers will receive free health advice and checks over the next fortnight to help raise awareness about the health risks they face on site.  Read more..