Playing down workplace incidents doesn’t pay
26 February 2018 –
WorkSafe is warning businesses not to play down notifiable events in their workplaces.
Trade Depot Ltd appeared in Auckland District Court in December following an incident where more than 200kg of plasterboard fell on a worker in Takanini. The Court has since released its sentencing decision on the matter.
The May 2016 incident left the worker with a skull fracture and head injuries requiring surgery and four days hospitalisation. The company failed to notify WorkSafe of the incident at the time, and then tried to downplay its severity when it did finally notify WorkSafe.
When asked for a description of the injury, Trade Depot noted “probable concussion from impact” with no reference to extensive bleeding, fractures, surgery and hospitalisation.
Though, Trade Depot was aware of the significance of the victim’s injuries. Deliberately downplaying the significance of the injuries was an attempt to avoid the consequences, and demonstrated a lack of compassion for a worker seriously injured while doing his job.
Trade Depot Ltd was convicted and fined $98,156.25 and ordered to pay $24,000 reparation.