South Port New Zealand Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
3 December 2015
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$22,989

Safety lessons learned:
  1. Ensure that the slippery surface area affected by the residual fertiliser was isolated to prevent access to the area by persons on-foot or in vehicles;
  2. Notify all persons whether working at or visiting the site, of the hazard of the slippery surface and management of the residual fertiliser on Berth 8;
  3. Ensure that a health and safety policy is in place which requires isolation of spills prior to remediation and diversion of traffic if necessary; and
  4. Ensure that employees are trained in hazard and risk assessment to enable them to identify hazards and to implement the appropriate controls when they arise.

Defendant name:
South Port New Zealand Limited
 
Industry:
Postal, transport and warehousing
 
Date of offence:
3 December 2015
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant company operates the port at Bluff.

Prior to the incident there had been a spill of Superphosphate on Berth 8. An initial sweep was carried out; however, there was residual Superphosphate. A manager from the Defendant company slid in his own vehicle prior to the incident and sent an e-mail out to other managers asking them to alert Port employees. No barricading or means of isolation was erected and other inducted Port users were not made aware of the hazard on Berth 8.

The victim, who had been inducted and held an access, drove his truck onto Berth 8 to pick up a pot of crayfish from a fishing vessel. It was accepted that the victim’s vehicle was driven in excess of the speed limit. The victim’s truck slipped and went off the edge of the wharf. The victim died from drowning.
 
Offence section:
Sections 15 and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Invercargill - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$22,989
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$152,011