Worker injured by falling transmission tower

If your workers are operating at height, you must make sure they’re able to work safely according to WorkSafe in the wake of a sentencing decision released by the Hamilton District Court today.

Electrix Limited was sentenced after a worker harnessed to the top of a 30-metre high temporary transmission tower was injured in August 2016 when it fell to the ground leaving him with multiple injuries.

The temporary tower was installed as part of the Waikato Expressway development.

WorkSafe’s investigation found that the tower was not safely secured for the work being undertaken on it.  Electrix was found to have failed to: develop and implement a safe system of work, ensure the tower was erected in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and, ensure the competency of its workers on the towers.

WorkSafe’s Head of Specialist Interventions Simon Humphries said the sentencing should remind those working in the industry to ensure they understand and mitigate the many risks associated with that industry.

“The fact that tower fell in the first place is completely unacceptable. If you are expecting your workers to carry out their duties 30 metres in the air, then as an employer you need to have absolute and failsafe measures in place to keep those workers safe. This worker was lucky to escape this incident with his life but will carry the injuries and trauma sustained in the incident with him for the rest of his life.”

Notes:

  • A fine of $332,060 was imposed.
  • Electrix Limited was sentenced under sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and 2(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
    • Being a PCBU, failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers who worked for the PCBU while the workers were at work in the business or undertaking, and that failure exposed the workers to a risk of death or serious injury.
  • The maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding $1,500,000.

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