KiwiRail Holdings Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
17 June 2014
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$0 - KiwiRail is a Crown organisation

Safety lessons learned:

For Section 18(1)(a) charge:

  1. Ensure that subcontractors and employees are provided with an effective means for communication on worksites.
  2. Ensure that all train movements are communicated to all workers on the worksite.
  3. Ensure that an isolation or tag out system is made available that enables the Rail Protection Officer to ensure that all personnel are clear of the tracks before allowing any train movements on the site.

For Section 6 charge:

  1. Ensure that a qualified person is available as the Rail Protection Officer as specified on the job plan.
  2. Ensure that a safe place briefing is completed when re-locating sites.
  3. Ensure that planned train movements are communicated to all staff before the commencement of work.
  4. Ensure communication to all persons working on the site when a train enters the worksite.
  5. Ensure that the communication system is effective at the planned worksite.
  6. Ensure that an isolation or tag out system is made available that enables the Rail Protection Officer to ensure that all personnel are clear of the tracks before allowing any train movements on the site.

Defendant name:
KiwiRail Holdings Limited
 
Industry:
Postal, transport and warehousing
 
Date of offence:
17 June 2014
 
Facts in brief:
The defendant company holds the rail licence for the KiwiRail group, New Zealand’s rail operator, and is responsible for the infrastructure side of the business.

The victim was an employee of a company which was contracted to the defendant to assist with track maintenance.

On the day of the incident, the victim was operating a digger next to a rail track on the Raurimu Spiral. The victim was working around a corner and out of the sight of other track workers. The other track workers gave the all clear signal for a train to move through the worksite. The train was unable to stop when it rounded the curve of the track and collided with the digger that the victim was operating.

The victim suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and required ongoing hospitalisation and full care.

The train driver, an employee of the defendant, was also exposed to the risk of harm from the train colliding with the digger.
 
Offence section:
Section 6 and section 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act
Section 18(1) and section 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act
 
Date charged:

Court:
Auckland - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$0 - KiwiRail is a Crown organisation
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$110,000 (plus $130 court costs)