Ministry of Labour says size of company doesn't matter

 Excavation company's due diligence defence  rejected and they are convicted of  OHS violations.  The court observed that there appeared to have been a presumption that once oral instructions were conveyed, they would be understood and complied with by workers.  But there was no evidence whether any steps were made to ensure that anyone working for the company understood the instructions.  Although the company was small, it required a system and process for establishing appropriate written OHS policies and procedures, communicating them, monitoring them and enforcing them.  The company was convicted of failing to ensure an excavator was moved in a safe manner and that the worker wore a seatbelt.  A worker was loading an excavator onto a trailer when the excavator slipped off the trailer and fell on its side.  The cab glass shattered and the driver was injured.  The courts have yet to decide punishment for the company. 

This conviction highlights the need for businesses of all sizes, especially small business, to protect their workers.  All businesses are required to have policies and systems in place to protect and keep their workers safe.

Please contact us if you would like to know what your requirements are under the law.

source..OHS Insider July 2014