NZ Builder Ignored Worker Safety

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A Christchurch builder has been hit with a $NZ18,000 ($A16,757) fine for refusing to protect his workers from falling off a roof.

Builder Grant Collings ignored orders by WorkSafe New Zealand inspectors who discovered four of his workers re-roofing a house with no fall protection in place.

When inspectors issued a prohibition notice, he ignored it and refused to get his employees down off the roof, a move that Worksafe argued put the builders at risk of serious injury.

Collings faced Christchurch District Court on Monday where he was found guilty under the Health and Safety in Employment Act and fined $NZ18,000.

WorkSafe New Zealand’s chief inspector Keith Stewart said the building boss had shown “blatant disregard for the health and safety of his employees” by ignoring the order which was pinned to the main ladder at the site.

Five hours later, the inspectors returned to the site and found the same workers on the roof.

“Mr Collings’ inaction in not ensuring that the notice was complied with put his staff at further risk.”

“That is unacceptable,” Mr Stewart said.

WorkSafe said more injuries happened on residential building sites than any other workplace in the construction sector.

Falls from roofs and ladders account for most of the serious harm accidents in the construction sector, reported to WorkSafe New Zealand.

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