Blakely Construction Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
31 March 2014
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$35,000 for s6
$10,000 for s16(1)(a)

Safety lessons learned:
  • Ensure any suspected asbestos containing materials were identified, sampled and removed prior to demolition starting;
  • Ensure work was stopped immediately and employees removed from the site when contamination from asbestos has been identified during demolition;
  • Ensure the site was fully decontaminated before any work could continue or any person permitted to enter; and
  • Ensure the control of dust which may contain asbestos created as a result of demolition work to ensure that people in the vicinity of the worksite were not harmed.

Defendant name:
Blakely Construction Limited
 
Industry:
Building and construction
 
Date of offence:
31 March 2014
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant company is a civil construction company providing services such as demolition and dumping, drainage, earthmoving and project management.

While undertaking demolition work, Super 6 roofing sheets containing asbestos wrapped in plastic were accidently broken up by an employee operating an excavator. When he reported this to his supervisor, he was instructed to carry on working around it.
An asbestos removal company engaged to remove the contaminated sheets discovered possible fragments of asbestos-containing materials around the site. Samples tested returned positive results for asbestos.

Further asbestos was later identified when the same employee was ripping up a floor slab with the excavator and work continued. It was likely that the contamination was furthered by the excavator moving around the site.

Following a complaint, WorkSafe issued a Prohibition Notice. Further sampling and testing found asbestos in 6 of the 15 samples taken, including in excavator tracks, the HEPA filter, on the neighbouring property and around the demolition site.
 
Offence section:
• Sections 6 and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
• Sections 16(1)(a) and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Christchurch - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$35,000 for s6
$10,000 for s16(1)(a)
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
Not applicable