Construction company fined $150K following painter’s platform fall

A construction company in New Zealand was sentenced after a painter was injured in the company’s own workplace.

The painter was brought in as a contractor to complete some work at the company’s business premises but was given incorrectly installed mobile scaffolding to work from. On the first day of his job, the victim fell from the scaffolding to the concrete floor below landing head first and sustaining multiple fractures to his skull, face, and ribs. He suffered major brain trauma as a result of the incident.

The company had identified a fall from the platform as a risk and acknowledged that it needs to be correctly installed, it had no systems in place to ensure that pre-work check was done to make sure that the safety gear was installed correctly and fit for purpose.

“Temporary work platforms like the mobile scaffolding used in this instance should be constructed by a competent person and should be suitable for carrying out the work required of it,” said WorkSafe’s Head of Specialist Interventions Simon Humphries.

The company has been fined $ 150,000. Reparation of $ 42,180 was ordered.

The company made some positive safety changes in place following the incident including putting a pre-start checklist for the scaffolding in place that requires manager sign off before it can be used. It also provided remedial training to all workers on how to assemble the scaffold correctly.

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