Company fined for failing to prevent fall from height

Tuesday 9 October 2012, 4:24PM

By Department of Labour


Building company Keith Hay Homes Limited has been fined $22,100 after the employee of a contractor was seriously injured after falling more than three metres from a roof.

The Auckland District Court heard that on 9 June 2011 three employees of Metind Limited were working on a single storey Keith Hay residential home in Glen Innes, Auckland.

“While reaching down to secure a safe hold on the ridge of the damp roof, one of the employees slipped and fell approximately three metres to the ground, fracturing his lower back, several ribs and damaging shoulder tendons and ligaments,” said MBIE Labour, Northern General Manager John Howard.

The MBIE Labour investigation into the incident found that it could have been prevented if the defendant had liaised with its contractor to plan a safe approach to working at height at the Glen Innes site and put in place appropriate roof edge protection so that no employee of a contractor was harmed while doing any work the contractor was engaged to do.

“Preventing falls from height is a priority for MBIE and we expect everyone with staff or contractors working at height to actively manage this significant hazard,” he said.

The Best Practice Guidelines for Working at Height in New Zealand provide practical guidance about how prevent harm.

To complement the guidelinesa series of six factsheets have also been produced. These focus on:

  • how to plan a safe approach to working at height
  • how to select the right equipment for the job
  • short duration work at height
  • edge protection
  • temporary work platforms
  • total restraint system.


“All employers, contractors and employees who are required to work at height should read the guidelines and factsheets so they take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of those working at height. Doing nothing is not an option,” Mr Howard added.