New Zealand firm ordered to compensate Indian worker

Wellington: A New Zealand court has ordered an engineering firm to pay $35,000 to an Indian worker after he sustained serious injuries in a fall owing to inadequate safety measures at a constructon site, a media report said.

The Christchurch district court fined Pegasus Engineering Limited $45,000 and ordered it to pay $35,000 to the Indian national as emotional harm reparations, reported on Friday.

The accident took place in August 2014 when the contracted welder was working at a building site. He was helping place and fasten steel plates on a four-metre high walkway using an individual harness rather than having a safety net in case of fall.

When the man fell, he broke his wrists, arm and cheek bone, cut his chin, and had extensive nose bleeding.

Worksafe New Zealand prosecutor Sarah Backhouse told the court there had been a lack of planning and task analysis, and no “induction” for the work the man was tasked to do when he fell.

Defence counsel Garth Galloway said it was not a systemic failure, but the accident resulted from a “series of failures which were to a large extent limited to this event”. Judge Tony Couch accepted that submission.

The judge reduced the fine for the company’s cooperation, steps it had taken, the guilty plea, and genuine remorse and support for injured man, who has since returned to work.