Business to pay 70k after worker fell from roof

An Oamaru painting and decorating company has been ordered to pay a fine and reparation totalling $70,000 after an employee fell close to 3m from a roof last year.

Lindsay Whyte Painters and Decorators Ltd was sentenced at the Oamaru District Court today after the April 2016 incident, where a man fell 2.8m from a roof with no edge protection and through a glass table on to concrete.

The company was fined $50,000 and ordered to pay $20,000 reparation to the victim under section 36(1)(a) the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

A WorkSafe investigation found that the business had failed to identify the risk of a fall, failed to put any fall protection in place and did not take steps to ensure its staff were trained and instructed in working at height.

WorkSafe general manager of operations and Specialist Services Brett Murray said that falls from height were easily avoided.

"More injuries happen on residential building sites than any other workplace in the construction sector. Even a fall from the roof of a single story can be fatal and controls need to be put in place.

"The best controls are those that don't require active judgement by a worker. This includes solutions such as edge protection or scaffolding.  If a worker slips or missteps, as we saw in this case, there is a physical barrier between themselves and the ground below.''

Lindsay Whyte Painters and Decorators owner Lindsay Whyte declined to comment when contacted by the Otago Daily Times.

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