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WorkSafe New Zealand has accepted an enforceable undertaking from the St Kentigern Trust Board following an incident in which two students were injured during an April 2016 school production of Sweeney Todd.
WorkSafe’s investigation found that the Board breached the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) by failing to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of students was not put at risk from work carried out as part of the business or undertaking.
This is the first time WorkSafe has used an enforceable undertaking, a provision under the HSWA, which can be considered as an alternative to prosecution.
WorkSafe General Manager Operations and Specialist Services, Brett Murray, said the decision to accept an enforceable undertaking was appropriate as this was a serious but isolated incident.
“We have carefully considered the impact of this incident and the wishes of the three victims and their families.
“The St Kentigern Trust Board has taken responsibility and accountability for its breach of the law and is taking a number of actions to address the issues that led to this serious incident. Through this enforceable undertaking a range of steps will be completed.”
Under the enforceable undertaking, the St Kentigern Trust Board has:
- Accepted full responsibility for the incident and the harm which was caused as a result;
- Committed to a restorative justice process with the victims of the offending, including the payment of reparation as an outcome;
- Taken steps to improve health and safety within the wider education sector, through the development of health and safety guidance and the building and delivery of training, for the benefit of schools nationwide.
The full enforceable undertaking, together with WorkSafe’s reasons for its decision, is available on our website.
WorkSafe will continue to monitor compliance of this enforceable undertaking.