WorkSafe Prosecution Corner

27 Aug 2020

A worker who was paralysed in a four metre fall and will never walk again has been awarded over $400,000 in reparations and other payments.

An Auckland company had been contracted to repair a leaking roof at a commercial building. To allow access to the roof, a ladder and access hatch was installed. The hatch was not installed properly and while the worker was climbing the ladder he hit his head on the wooden frame of the hatch and fell.

WorkSafe's Acting Chief Inspector Danielle Henry said as a result of the incident, the worker sustained serious spinal damage.

"The incorrect hatch installation was the genesis of the incident. It was not inspected by an engineer prior to use, or deemed code compliant.

"The hatch was installed with good intention – but without correct installation to meet appropriate building codes it was not effective in keeping workers safe.

Key takeaway:

  • Always work to installation guidelines, Approved Codes of Practice and building code requirements