Universal Homes Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
31 July 2014
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$37,200

Safety lessons learned:
  1. Ensure that either access is prevented to the top plate or appropriate perimeter fall protection is provided;
  2. Assess and ensure the health and safety competency of contractors and consult to plan and identify risks.

Defendant name:
Universal Homes Limited
 
Industry:
Building and construction
 
Date of offence:
31 July 2014
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant company was developing three lots and contracted Build New Zealand Group Limited (“BNZGL”) to build the houses. BNZGL engaged subcontractors to assist with building. The Defendant project managed the development, arranged scaffolding, safety netting and co-ordinated the various tradesmen.

Low level scaffolding was erected outside the house frame and to allow access to the top plate via an access platform. The Defendant uninstalled safety netting without consulting BNZGL and without taking steps to ensure that the contractors were aware.

The victim and other builders were installing roof trusses using the access platform to get onto the top plate. The victim fell from the outside edge of the top plate. He hit the ground and was knocked unconscious. WorkSafe attended the scene and raised the issue of builders working on the top plate without appropriate perimeter protection.

On 8 August 2015 a WorkSafe inspector returned to the building site and saw another worker on the outside perimeter of the top plate without appropriate perimeter edge protection.
 
Offence section:
Sections 18(1)(b) and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
North Shore - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$37,200
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$6,000