WorkSafe lays charges over fatal Wiri explosion

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WorkSafe New Zealand has laid charges against Salters Cartage and its director Ron Salter following the investigation into the death of 24-year-old welder Jamey Lee Bowring.

The safety regular confirmed the charges in a statement released late last week but added that not all allegations were directly related to the fatal accident.

“A number of the charges, particularly those under the HSNO Act, arise from the investigation into the worker’s death, but were not directly related to the incident, such as issues relating to the storage of other materials on the site,” it revealed.

Salters Cartage and Salter face 22 charges under the Hazardous Substances and New Organism Act (HSNO) – the maximum penalty for the charges is a $500,000 fine for the company and a $500,000 fine or 3 months’ imprisonment for Salter.

In addition to the HSNO charges, the company and its director face a further 11 charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act (HSE) – the maximum penalty for most of the HSE charges is a $500,000 fine for the company and a $500,000 fine and/or 2 years’ imprisonment for Salter.

Bowring, a contractor from Huntly, was killed at the Wiri waste plant in a welding accident that caused a massive blast which was head kilometres away.

The South Auckland company was already on notice to improve its ducting and internal processes when the accident took place.

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