Worksafe denies tourist's death prompted review

WorkSafe is reviewing its role in investigating work-related road accidents, but says it is not prompted by the death of a tourist at Mt Nicholas Station in 2016.

United States tourist Richard Hyde (73) died after being run over by a reversing 20-seater bus during a tour of the farm, near Queenstown, run by Southern Discoveries.

The government health and safety regulator decided not to investigate on the grounds Mr Hyde's death resulted from a ``road accident'' - despite it happening in a car park on a remote high country station.

The bus driver was prosecuted by police and convicted of careless driving causing death.

WorkSafe acting chief executive Phil Parkes told the Otago Daily Times it was ``looking at how we fulfil our role when it comes to work-related roading incidents''.

That included looking at how that role interacted with other agencies.

The review, which had no set timeframe, would help ``inform and improve our internal processes''.

Mr Parkes said the review was not initiated as a result of the Mt Nicholas Station accident.

``WorkSafe periodically re-examines our policies and processes to make sure we are meeting the needs of New Zealanders, our board and our Minister.''

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway told the ODT he understood the review was not the result of ``any one incident''.

But he needed to be confident WorkSafe's decision-making process was ``robust''.

``[Mr Hyde's death] is certainly not the first incident I've been aware of where people have questioned the decision for police to carry out the investigation rather than WorkSafe.

``I think it's timely to refresh that and make sure it's still working appropriately.''

 

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