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One of New Zealand’s biggest stevedoring companies will pay $425,000 plus financial compensation to the victim after a near-fatal incident involving one of the company’s workers in December 2017.
The company, ISO Limited, will pay the amount under an “Enforceable Undertaking” accepted by Maritime NZ. The EU is an alternative to prosecution and is a commitment by a company to take action for any breaches of New Zealand’s Health and Safety Work Act.
Maritime NZ’s Central Region Compliance Manager, Michael-Paul Abbott, said the Enforceable Undertaking is the first in the maritime industry.
“Their aim is to improve health and safety at a workplace and across an industry, and to remedy harm caused to workers and their families. We took into account the significant commitment made by ISO to raising health and safety standards in the industry and the fact that the company had committed to provide ongoing support for the injured worker and his family,” said Abbot.
The incident in question took place in 2017 when a stevedore, who was working for ISO Limited, was trying to get down from logs stacked above a ship’s deck. He fell eight meters onto a concrete wharf at Port of Tauranga. Maritime NZ investigated and filed charges against ISO Limited under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA).
“ISO consulted with the Amalgamated Stevedores Union, the injured man and his family, the Port Industry Association, Port of Tauranga, and ship charterers when it was drafting the EU,” said Abbot.
“By working openly with all these groups and in what it has offered in the EU, ISO has shown a serious commitment to improving safety,” he added.
The company that operated the ship where the incident occurred, China Navigation Company PTE Limited, was sentenced in July of this year following a prosecution by Maritime NZ under the Maritime Transport Act. The company pleaded guilty and was fined $24,000 and ordered to pay $30,000 in reparations.
“The money [ISO Limited] is committing to spend is an investment in safety that will help stevedores in ports around the country,” Abbot added.
Under the Enforceable Undertaking, ISO Limited has committed to the following, according to Maritime NZ:
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