Company fined $500,000 after elderly man’s death

More than two years after an elderly man died after falling from a mobility scooter on a damaged footpath one of the companies responsible for his health and safety has been fined $500,000.

WorkSafe Chief Investigator Hayden Mander said after the sentencing in the Manukau District Court today that Shannon Thomson Concrete Pumps Limited had obstructed the WorkSafe investigation, and didn’t turn up at Court today.

“This company had already been convicted in May last year for obstructing our investigation into this entirely avoidable death.”

In March 2017 the man was riding his mobility scooter on a footpath near the development of a Papatoetoe housing site and fell from it when he hit a damaged section of footpath. The company provided the concrete pump to the site.

“Our investigation found Shannon Thomson Concrete Pumps Limited had failed to work with other companies on site to identify the damaged footpath as a risk.  No site specific risk assessment was undertaken and the company failed to identify and put in place controls to manage the risks related to the entry and exit of heavy vehicles onto the worksite. 

“Shannon Thomson Concrete Pumps Limited’s total lack of regard for the family and the company’s role in the man’s death is reflected in this massive fine. There was no deduction from the starting point of $500,000 as the Judge did not find that there were any applicable mitigating factors.

“We hope today’s sentencing can offer the victim’s family some closure following this tragic incident.”

Last year, YSB Group was fined $100,000 for their involvement in the incident, and was ordered to pay reparation of $100,000 on behalf of both companies.

Notes: 

  • A fine of $500,000 was imposed
  • Shannon Thomson Concrete Pumps Limited was sentenced under sections 36(2), 48(1) and (2)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
  • Being a PCBU, having a duty to ensure so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of other persons, was not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct or undertaking, namely the provision of concrete pumping services, did fail to comply with that duty, and that failure exposed other persons, to a risk of serious injury or death.
  • S 48(2)(c) carries a maximum penalty of $1,500,000.

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