Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
25 October 2016
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$150,000

Safety lessons learned:
  1. Ensure that the truck is adequately maintained, including having adequately functioning brakes at all times.
  2. Establish an effective system for identifying and monitoring maintenance requirements specific to each truck in its fleet.

Defendant name:
Sorensen Transport Limited
 
Industry:
Postal, transport and warehousing
 
Date of offence:
25 October 2016
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant company is in the business of transportation of goods by road in the Central North Island. Its main depot is in Te Kuiti, but one truck was based in Putaruru due to being where the driver lives.

An accident took place on the Waikato side of the Kaimai Ranges when the truck driven by the Putaruru driver collided with another vehicle. The accident was the result of brake failure in the Putaruru driver’s truck. The WorkSafe investigation concluded that the 3rd axle brakes were inoperable and the 2nd axle brakes would have been imbalanced on application.

The driver said that earlier in the day she had noticed braking difficulties near Tirau. She said she called in the problem to the office, but there was no record of that.
 
Offence section:
Sections 48(1) and 2(c), and 36(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015; and sections 48(1) and 2(c), and 36(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
 
Date charged:

Court:
Tauranga - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$150,000
 
Maximum fine available:
$1,500,000
 
Reparation:
For emotional harm: $60,000 to other persons and $25,000 to Putaruru driver
For consequential loss: $20,340 to other persons and $1,773 to Putaruru driver