Fine for flouting the law

Updated: Aug 31

Company fined for dangerous practices


Image from NZ Herald

In October 2018, a company was fined $180,000 for failing to provide its workers with a safe working environment. Having worked in the construction industry and also electrical industry, I can say this company is not alone in ignoring the Workplace Safety Act. Many PCBU's think their 'minor' issues are not a problem and OK to ignore. "It's been looking like that for years and we're OK" is sadly a common remark. Well, they might be OK if they're lucky, so long as they are not caught or someone is injured. Or worse. A fine of this magnitude is more than enough to bankrupt many smaller businesses. Some safety issues that are identified are difficult to control, but not impossible. I think we can all agree that construction costs seem rather high, however if you can appreciate the reasons behind the costs, most reasonable people can accept it as part of construction.

There are other things that are simple and relatively inexpensive to maintain. Electrical equipment is one of those that should be a 'No Brainer'. It's really simple. Check your tools before use and if it looks dodgy, it probably is. Test and Tagging your gear is the best way to ensure your tools are safe AT THAT POINT IN TIME, but you also need to ensure damage is not done in those 3 months between testing. If there is any damage, get a qualified person to do the repairs. They must also test the appliance to Standard AS/NZS 5762 and tag appropriately.

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