Phil Stirling Building Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
18 May 2017
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$150,000 on s48 charge
Convicted and discharged on the s34 charge

Safety lessons learned:
  • Ensured that each purlin was securely fastened in place as they were being installed;
  • Developed, implemented, communicated and monitored compliance with a safe system of work that included an exclusion zone prohibiting work in area where workers on the ground level were at risk of unsecured building materials such as purlins, falling on them;
  • Consult with Duncan Engineering Limited as to the scope of its health and safety duties;
  • Co-ordinate activities with Duncan Engineering Limited about the risks when workers were working from height and how they were to be managed.    

Defendant name:
Phil Stirling Building Limited
 
Industry:
Building and construction
 
Date of offence:
18 May 2017
 
Facts in brief:
A trust engaged five contractors to build a 60-bay milking shed at a farm in Dipton.

The contractors included the first defendant PSBL (a construction company). PSBL engaged sub-contractors to assist with the build.

The second defendant Duncan Engineering Limited was engaged by one of the five main contractors, to install the milking platform within the milking shed.

On 18 May 2017, PSBL was installing purlins using a mobile scaffold in the centre of the pit. The purlins were left unbolted, but PSBL did not ensure that workers at the site were aware of this, and directed not to enter the pit. Three unbolted purlins fell 5-6 metres from the trusses, and two of them struck two engineers from Duncan Engineering Limited directly on their heads.

One worker suffered concussion and a mild brain injury, and as at May 2018, had not returned to work.

The other worker suffered fractured vertebrae, but has since returned to work.
 
Related prosecutions:
 
Offence section:
Sections 48(1) and 2(c), and 36(2) and Sections 34(1) and 34(2)(b) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
 
Date charged:

Court:
Invercargill - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$150,000 on s48 charge
Convicted and discharged on the s34 charge
 
Maximum fine available:
$1,500,000 on s48 charge
$100,000 on s34 charge
 
Reparation:
For emotional harm - $60,000 to Mr McKibbin (pro-rata 40%) ($50,000 paid prior to sentencing); $30,000 to Mr Johnson (already paid prior to sentencing)

For consequential loss - $15,904.12 to Mr McKibbin for ACC shortfall (pro-rata 60%); no shortfall for Mr Johnson