General Distributors Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
29 November 2014
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$44,300

Safety lessons learned:
  1. Ensure ongoing hazard identification is carried out;
  2. Ensure that defects and faults are repaired by persons suitably qualified to do so;
  3. Ensure that in house health and safety systems are understood and applied by all employees.

Defendant name:
General Distributors Limited
 
Industry:
Retail
 
Date of offence:
29 November 2014
 
Facts in brief:
The defendant company is the operator of a Countdown supermarket in Dunedin.

The victim, an employee of the defendant, closed a security gate at the rear of the Countdown supermarket complex. The gate was in two parts, the longer portion measuring 11 metres long by 2.2 metres high and weighing approximately 300 kilograms. A nut and bolt stopper system prevented the gate from sliding too far.

The victim went to close the larger gate, it went beyond the stop and came off the runner and pinned him to the ground. The victim suffered compression fractures to several vertebrae, T12 and lumbar 1 and 2, fractures to his left thumb, and was believed to have suffered fractures to his lower ribs. He was hospitalised for five days, in a body cast for three months and in a neck brace.
 
Offence section:
Sections 6 and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Dunedin - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$44,300
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$33,000