WorkSafe New Zealand has accepted an enforceable undertaking from Trojan Holdings Limited after a worker fell into the waste hopper, sustaining a traumatic brain injury and a leg fracture.
A WorkSafe investigation of the June 2016 incident found that Trojan Holdings had failed under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to ensure the health and safety of a worker.
The worker, who was assisting a truck driver to empty a skip bin, was about to open the doors of a skip bin at the back of the truck when the truck began reversing and the worker fell 3 metres into the hopper below him.
Simon Humphries, WorkSafe's head of specialist interventions, said the circumstances were suitable for an enforceable undertaking.
"The initiatives outlined in this enforceable undertaking will extend across a broad range of the company's operations and interests and the upskilling of those working for and with them," he said.
"Trojan Holdings is clearly accepting of their failures and are committed to bringing health and safety to the forefront of not just their activities but others in the community as well."
Sir John Davies of Trojan Holdings said they are committed to ensuring that all workers went home safe every day.
"We regret this incident has occurred to one of our workers, no-one expects anyone to go to work and be harmed. We take the health and wellbeing of all our staff very seriously. This incident has created a sharp reminder that no matter what we are doing we can always improve, some valuable learnings for both our business and the wider industry and community have come from this regrettable incident," Davies said.
"As shown by our support given to the worker, we are committed to making amends for the incident and ensuring that the terms of the Enforceable Undertaking are met as soon as possible. It is important to us that the Central Otago community benefits from some of the agreed actions and community reparations. Partnering with the Central Otago Health and Safety Forum to assist in ensuring safety and wellbeing education is accessible to all in the community will do this."
Enforceable undertaking is a tool increasingly used, in appropriate cases, as a positive alternative to prosecution.
Under the enforceable undertaking, Trojan Holdings committed to initiatives including:
• Providing a payment to the victim for amends
• Investing in a new health and safety system
• Investing in a range of health and safety workplace upskilling initiatives
• Employing an occupational health advisor to support workers welling
• Developing an online traffic management course open to others
• Supporting industry health and safety education sessions to the wider industry and community
• Providing scholarship opportunities for those working in transport and waste industries to complete the National Examination Board in Occupational Health and Safety qualification
• Providing community reparations by donating to Starship Foundation and community school holiday programs within Central Otago, Central Otago Health and Safety Forum and Brain Injury Otago.