Te Anau Bulk Haulage Ltd

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
11 April 2014
 
Plea:
Not guilty
 
Decision:
• Convicted after a Judge Alone Trial for ss 18(1)(b) and 50(1)(a) offence
• Withdrawn - ss 6 and 50(1)(a) charge
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$65,000

Safety lessons learned:

As a principal who owns vehicles:

  1. Ensure that all persons driving vehicles wear seatbelts;
  2. Ensure that a documented Health and Safety Policy is in place which expressly addresses the requirement for contractors and employees to wear seatbelts when operating plant;
  3. Ensure that all people engaged to drive vehicles are competent and qualified; and
  4. Ensure that risk and hazard assessments are undertaken in respect of all vehicles to be driven by the contractors.

At trial the Court added in the following practicable steps:

  1. Clearly and effectively communicate the company’s expectation of its contractors as to how they should conduct themselves in relation to health and safety and the hazards they may face in the field relating to conditions and terrain or driving off road.
  2. How any job should be assessed for risks and hazards should be noted down. Simply working from memory is a risk in itself and talking is not enough.
  3. Require contractors to wear the installed seatbelt when driving a Bulk Fertiliser Spreader off road. The industry (NZ Ground Spreader Fertilisers Association), WorkSafe and the New Zealand Police (Specialist Crash Unit) all support the wearing of seatbelts for health and safety reasons even though it is not mandatory by law.
  4. Develop an effective process which could be implemented to scope conditions of land before it was worked. If done, this could reduce harm by vehicles slipping or crashing or rolling.

Defendant name:
Te Anau Bulk Haulage Ltd
 
Industry:
Agriculture
 
Date of offence:
11 April 2014
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant company provided transportation and distribution services to the agricultural industry. The Defendant owned a fleet of vehicles including a MAN TGM 18430 Bulk fertiliser spreader (“the Bulky”).

The victim was contracted by the Defendant to drive the Bulky. The Bulky had been purchased and modified for the victim to drive.

On the day of the incident, the victim was spreading fertiliser at a farm using the Bulky. When the victim descended a grassed hill slope from an elevated upper farm track, the Bulky lost traction and rolled sideways and landed on its roof. The victim was unrestrained and was projected around the inside of the cab of the Bulky striking the interior.

The victim suffered multiple traumatic injuries and died at the scene.
 
Offence section:
Charged in the alternative:
• Sections 18(1)(b) and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
• Sections 6 and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Invercargill - District Court
 
Plea:
Not guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
• Convicted after a Judge Alone Trial for ss 18(1)(b) and 50(1)(a) offence
• Withdrawn - ss 6 and 50(1)(a) charge
 
Fine imposed:
$65,000
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$85,000