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Latest News / Building company ordered to pay $151k after falling worker paralysed from chest down

Building company ordered to pay $151k after falling worker paralysed from chest down

25th November 2019 – NZ Herald

 

WorkSafe says working at heights can have "devastating consequences". Photo / file 

A Northland building business has ordered to pay $151,000 after a worker was injured in what WorkSafe called "devastating consequences."

The Whangarei District Court ordered Build Northland to pay the money in reparations after a worker was left permanently paralysed from the chest down after falling approximately two metres and landing on his head.

WorkSafe said that during the March last year, the worker was installing attic trusses in the garage of residential property in Whangarei.

A bundle of upright standing trusses came loose and fell towards him. The trusses struck the aluminium plank he was standing, on causing him to fall to the ground.

Hayden Mander, WorkSafe's chief inspector, said the company had failed to ensure appropriate controls were in place for the safe installation of the attic trusses.

"WorkSafe's investigation into the incident found that Build Northland Limited had identified the hazard of working at height and the risk it posed of serious injury or death, but did not provide enough details of the equipment required to safely carry out the installation," Mander said.

"The hazards and risks associated with working at height are well known and controls to manage these risks are readily available, he said.

"This is a reminder that even a fall from a height of less than 2m can have devastating consequences."

Clinton [known as Clint] Bruce Dyke is the sole director of Build Northland, according to the Companies Office.

He owns the company with Angela Dyke. They trade as Landmark Homes Northland, a franchised business headquartered in the Bay of Plenty.

But Dyke today refused to comment on the case and instead referred an inquiry to Landmark Homes in the Bay of Plenty.

Paul Clarke, who owns the franchised Landmark Homes New Zealand, said Build Northland was a franchised business and part of his network. Build Northland had pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

"I haven't seen the judgement yet and I'm awaiting that," Clarke said.

"As far as I'm concerned, every worker is entitled to go home safely. Everybody should get home at night after a day's work and we treat health and safety with a high degree of authority. This was a terrible accident more than a year ago. We are really concerned about the worker's future," Clarke said.

"I'm devastated about the injuries sustained by this highly regarded worker, as was our franchisee. The man is paralysed for life. It's terrible, really terrible," Clarke said.

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