Benchmark Construction Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
16 January 2015
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$43,000

Safety lessons learned:
  • Ensure the hazard of a bucket detaching from an excavator is effectively identified and assessed;
  • Ensure effective procedures were in place requiring operators to check that a bucket is securely attached including by inserting a safety pin if required.

Defendant name:
Benchmark Construction Limited
 
Industry:
Building and construction
 
Date of offence:
16 January 2015
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant is a civil construction company and was engaged to prepare and install roadways, kerbs, drainage and trenching on a site.

The Defendant hired a Cat 311C excavator which requires the insertion of a manual safety pin to prevent the excavator bucket from detaching.

On the day of the incident, the victim was in a trench assisting in backfilling while another employee was operating the excavator. The safety pin had not been inserted and the bucket detached from the excavator arm while it was in motion.

The victim was hit and suffered a compound fracture of the left leg with nerve damage, lacerations to the right leg, and bruising.
 
Offence section:
Sections 6 and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Christchurch - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$43,000
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$40,000