WorkSafe New Zealand has accepted an enforceable undertaking from the St Kentirgen Trust Board following an incident in which students suffered injuries during a school production of Sweeney Todd in April 2016.
An investigation conducted by WorkSafe found that the Board violated the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) by failing to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of students was not put at risk from work carried out as part of business or undertaking.
This is the first time that WorkSafe used an enforceable undertaking, which is considered as an alternative to prosecution.
“We have already considered the impact of this incident and the wishes of the three victims and their families,” said WorkSafe General Manager Operations and Specialist Services, Brett Murray.
“The St Kentigern Trust Board has taken responsibility and accountability for its breach of the law and is taking a number of actions to address the issues that led to this serious incident. Through this enforceable undertaking, a range of steps will be completed.”
Under the enforceable undertaking, the St. Kintergern Trust Board has accepted full responsibility for the incident and the harm which was caused as a result; committed to a restorative justice process with the victims of the offending, including the payment of reparation as an outcome; taken steps to improve health and safety within the wider education sector, through the development of health and safety guidance and the building and delivery of training, for the benefit of schools nationwide.
Compliance of this enforceable undertaking will be closely monitored.