Britton Housemovers Ltd

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
18 December 2013
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$60,000 apportioned evenly across the 4 charges

Safety lessons learned:

Ensure all employees are correctly trained and understand the procedure in the event of potential entanglement of live lines. In the event of possible entanglement, to stop the convoy immediately, inform locals and members of the public passing the site, secure the site and have somebody remain on site until the appropriate authorities arrive.

Defendant name:
Britton Housemovers Ltd
 
Industry:
Energy
 
Date of offence:
18 December 2013
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant company is a business that relocates buildings all over the North Island. The director, Arthur Ernest Britton and several employees were transporting a house when it came to a low voltage power line that spanned the road. The power line snapped off and fell onto the roof of the house. The director sent an employee to move the power line with a wooden stick into a roadside drain. No safety protection gear was provided or worn. The transport convoy continued and some local farmers were moving stock via the road and saw the convoy pass.

Neither the defendant nor its employees alerted the farmers about the downed power line. This resulted in multiple sheep and dogs being electrocuted and killed when they passed the downed line. Also around this time, a school bus carrying children were being dropped off further up the road. The farmers chased after the transport convoy and notified them of what had happened but even after this, the convoy failed to call the appropriate authorities.
 
Related prosecutions:
 
Offence section:
Ss 6 and 15 Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

S20 Electricity Act 1992 and Reg 16 Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010
 
Date charged:

Court:
Hastings - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$60,000 apportioned evenly across the 4 charges
 
Maximum fine available:
$500,000 for Health and Safety in Employment Act charge. $50,000 for each Electrical (Safety) Regulations offence. Imprisonment of up to 2 years and $500,000 for Electricity Act offence
 
Reparation:
Not applicable