WorkSafe: Playing down workplace incidents doesn’t pay
29 March, 2018 | News
It doesn’t pay to downplay workplace incidents, according to a recent WorkSafe media release.
The claim has been made in response to the 2016 Trade Depot Ltd incident, where the company failed to notify WorkSafe that 200kg of plasterboard fell on a worker.
WorkSafe states that the company took too long to notify the health and safety regulator, and they tried to downplay the severity, despite the worker being left with a skull fracture and head injuries requiring surgery and four days hospitalisation.
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Downplaying comes with a cost
Trade Depot Ltd had its day in Auckland District Court in December. They were convicted and fined over $120,000 against the two charges below:
- Being a PCBU and failed to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of a worker.
- Being a PCBU who became aware that a notifiable event occurred and failed to ensure that the regulator, WorkSafe New Zealand, was notified of the event by the fastest possible means as soon as possible in the circumstances.
Workplace incidents must be reported
This case reiterates the need for documentation around suitable work areas and clear procedures for workers following an incident. Things fall through the cracks when workers aren’t trained in health and safety. Qualified health and safety professionals are an asset to their organisation.