Carter Holt Harvey fined after worker's fall

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

Carter Holt Harvey has been fined $33,000 and ordered to pay a worker $12,000 reparation after he fell through the eaves of its Carters building supplies store in Porirua last November.

The company pleaded guilty in Porirua District Court today to one charge of failing to take all practicable steps to protect the staff member.

The man accessed an area off the building's mezzanine floor in search of a product for a customer.

Products stored in this area often fell through the shelves into another area which was in the eaves of the building. This area did not have any flooring covering the joists and the Hardieboard lining of the eaves fixed to the underside of the joists, the court was told.

As he returned from the area, he stepped onto the Hardieboard and fell through the eaves and suffered a broken rib, several broken bones in the lumbar region of his spine and lacerations.

"Carters management knew their staff had to get into this dangerous space to retrieve product, but made no effort to stop the product falling into the area, or to cover the brittle lining to ensure the area was safe to access," MBIE Health and Safety group Chief Inspector Investigations Keith Stewart said.

"It was only as a result of this preventable injury to a staff member that Carters remedied the problem.

"Carters should have acted as soon as they knew staff were going into this dangerous space. Their corrective action came too late for this victim," Mr Stewart said.

- APNZ

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