Tragedy leads to WorkSafe accepting enforceable undertaking

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After an accident at the Cromwell Transfer Station in June 2016, WorkSafe New Zealand has accepted an enforceable undertaking from Trojan Holdings Limited.

The incident involved a worker falling into the waste hopper and sustaining serious injuries.

At the time, the worker was assisting a truck driver to empty a skip bin. When the employee was about to open the doors of the skip bin at the back of the truck, the truck began reversing and the worker fell three metres into the hopper below him.

Consequently, the worker ended up with a traumatic brain injury and a leg fracture.

After the investigation into the incident, WorkSafe found that Trojan Holdings had failed under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to ensure (so far as was reasonably practicable) the health and safety of a worker.

WorkSafe’s head of specialist interventions Simon Humphries said the circumstances were “suitable for an enforceable undertaking”.

“The initiatives outlined in this enforceable undertaking will extend across a broad range of the company’s operations and interests and the upskilling of those working for and with them,” said Humphries.

“Trojan Holdings is clearly accepting of their failures and are committed to bringing health and safety to the forefront of not just their activities but others in the community as well.”

Moreover, Sir John Davies of Trojan Holdings Limited added that they are committed to ensuring that all workers go home safe every day.

“We regret this incident has occurred to one of our workers, no-one expects anyone to go to work and be harmed,” said Davies.

“We take the health and wellbeing of all our staff very seriously. This incident has created a sharp reminder that no matter what we are doing we can always improve, some valuable learnings for both our business and the wider industry and community have come from this regrettable incident.” 

Davies added that the company is committed to making amends for the incident and ensuring that the terms of the Enforceable Undertaking are met as soon as possible.

“It is important to us that the Central Otago community benefits from some of the agreed actions and community reparations. Partnering with the Central Otago Health and Safety Forum to assist in ensuring safety and wellbeing education is accessible to all in the community will do this.”

Under the enforceable undertaking, Trojan Holdings committed to initiatives including: providing a payment to the victim for amends, investing in a new health and safety system, investing in a range of health and safety workplace upskilling initiatives, and employing an occupational health advisor to support workers welling.

Other initiatives included developing an online traffic management course open to others, and supporting industry health and safety education sessions to the wider industry and community.

Moreover, they committed to providing scholarship opportunities for those working in transport and waste industries to complete the National Examination Board in Occupational Health and Safety qualification, and providing community reparations by donating to Starship Foundation and community school holiday programs.

 

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