Worker’s fall costs company $40K

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Providing proper safety equipment for employees is one thing, but making sure it’s being used is another matter, as an Auckland construction company discovered.

CMP Construction was fined $30,000 and ordered to pay $10,000 in reparation after an employee of a sub-contractor fell five metres, suffering multiple fractures and significant head injuries.

Mohammad Ouzoun suffered ongoing effects from the fall, which happened last August, including headaches and memory loss.

He was working on a new retirement home, installing the supporting frame for the roof, when he stepped on a piece of timber that was not yet fixed down and fell five metres on to a concrete floor.

Safety equipment designed to protect against falls, including mobile scaffolds, a scissor lift and “fall arrest” bean bags, was on site, but was not being used.

CMP Construction was convicted in the North Shore District Court under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to take all practicable steps to make sure that Ouzoun was not hurt at work.

WorkSafe New Zealand’s programme manager construction and manufacturing, Marcus Nalter, said the company should have ensured that the fall protection equipment that was provided was used.

“CMP Construction had verbally advised Mr Ouzoun’s employer that the scissor lift and bean bags should be used while work was being done on the upper area of the roof trusses. But it did not ensure that the sub-contractor’s fall protection controls were properly documented or that the risk analysis for the task was reviewed, updated and followed.

“Falls from height are one of the most common causes of serious injuries in construction. There is simply no excuse for construction companies not to ensure there is a proper plan in place to minimise the risk of falls.”
 

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