Ministry of Social Development

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
2014-09-01
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$0

Safety lessons learned:

Where there exists a reasonably predictable hazard of client-initiated violence:

  • Ensure there was no physically unrestricted access by clients to the staff working area;  This meant that as a minimum, a secured desk was between a client and staff member to effect delay in the event of an attack and for zones to be developed which gave a safe and rapid means of escape for the staff member;
  • Ensure that employees and contractors are adequately trained to respond to an emergency response incident;
  • Adopt and effectively embed a "zero tolerance policy" by:
  • publishing a "zero tolerance policy";
  • embedding a "zero tolerance policy" in systems, standards and procedures and, in tum, in its staff; and
  • strategising to create a positive security culture and implementing those strategies;
  • Implement a client risk profiling process;
  • Implement a client management plan tailored to the risk assessment of that client; and
  • Implement effective incident investigation and incident data analysis, including by:
  • analysing the incident basis of security incidents on an annual basis and transferring the learnings to the defendant;
  • setting key performance indicators with respect to security incidents and reviewing these monthly/quarterly;
  • engaging periodically with selected frontline staff from selected locations to evaluate the effectiveness of security/related systems;
  • instituting a comprehensive investigation process and analysis model applied to critical security/related incidents;
  • developing a security management plan or equivalent document at the highest level of the defendant with clearly stated context, purpose, defined accountabilities, plan owner, internal review and external audit timeframes etc; and
  • completing a security audit using established risk management models and standards to aid in the establishment of the security management plan.

Defendant name:
Ministry of Social Development
 
Industry:
Public administration and safety
 
Date of offence:
2014-09-01
 
Facts in brief:
Employees of the defendant were exposed to the hazard of client-initiated violence at the Ashburton office of Work and Income New Zealand.
 
Offence section:
Sections 6 and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Wellington - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$0
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$0