9 Nov 2018

Company fined $100k after fatal fall from mobility scooter on damaged footpath

4:41 pm on 9 November 2018

A building development company has been fined $100,000 after a retired man fell from his mobility scooter on a damaged piece of footpath and died.

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Photo: 123rf.com

WorkSafe laid charges against YSB Group under the Health and Safety at Work Act over the March 2017 accident.

The footpath had been damaged by heavy vehicles during the development of a Papatoetoe, South Auckland, housing site.

The scooter tipped on the uneven terrain and the man fell to the ground, sustaining fatal injuries.

In its investigation, WorkSafe said it found there was significant pedestrian activity on the footpath and YSB Group did not identify the damage as a risk.

The investigation also found it would have been reasonable for YSB Group to block off the damaged footpath, establish a safe alternative route for pedestrians and to have developed, implemented and communicated a site access plan.

WorkSafe's head of specialist interventions, Simon Humphries, said pedestrians frequently had interactions with work sites - even if they were not directly on them.

"We expect all workplaces to think broadly about the impacts of their activities on the health and safety of everyone at a workplace.

"Other people potentially at risk from work activities include volunteers, customers, passers-by, visitors, or workers from another entity.

"Some simple actions from YSB Group, and consideration of others interacting with their work site, could have saved this man's life."

The fine was handed down in a judgment issued by the Manukau District Court today.

One other party has been charged in relation to the matter. They are yet to appear in court.