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The doctor in the Pel-Air plane crash near Norfolk Island has been awarded $959,478 in the Supreme Court of NSW.

In November 2009, Dr David Helm and nurse Karen Casey were working for CareFlight, transporting a seriously ill patient and her husband from Samoa to Melbourne on a plane operated by Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd when it crashed near Norfolk Island.

Helm sustained scratches, bruising and multiple soft tissue injuries and an injury to his spine. He returned to work at CareFlight on modified duties. Over time the pain in his back worsened. He will never recover from his injuries, which have not only affected his work but also his study, his ability to interact with his children and his leisure pursuits.

He sued Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd in the Supreme Court of NSW and last week was awarded $959,478.

Casey, who was more severely injured than Helm, also successfully sued Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd, however, the decision on the amount of damages to be paid has been adjourned until 1 July.

For more details, visit the ruling and the award

Published on 18 June 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.

A residential care service in New Zealand has been prosecuted and fined after a 15-year-old teenager with multiple disabilities drowned in a bath.

Nathan Booker had profound intellectual and physical disabilities. In January last year, while he was in respite care at an Idea Services facility, he drowned after being left unattended in the bath, according to WorkSafe New Zealand in a media statement.

Following the incident, Idea Services was prosecuted in the Palmerston North District Court under the New Zealand Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure no action or inaction of an employee harmed another person.

The company pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay reparation of $90,000 and fined $63,500.

“Nathan was a young man with complex needs. He was not capable of bathing himself. His care documents stated that he required ‘full support’ and his care plan said that he must be ‘supervised at all times’. He simply should not have been left alone in the bath,” said WorkSafe New Zealand’s chief inspector, Keith Stewart, in a media statement.

“If Nathan had been fully supervised and not left alone during his bath this tragedy is unlikely to have occurred. This case should serve as a wake-up call to the residential care sector to ensure that they fully assess and manage the risks of services such as bathing people with complex needs.”

For more details, visit WorkSafe New Zealand

Published on 12 March 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.

A New Zealand company director has been sentenced to home detention after sheep and dogs were electrocuted and people were put at risk from live electrical wires.

Britton Housemovers Limited was moving a house along Herbertville Road in Herbertville when it crashed into powerlines.

The powerlines fell onto the roof of the house and then an employee of Britton Housemovers Limited used a stick to move them into a ditch on the side of the road, according to a WorkSafe New Zealand media release.

Several sheep walked into the ditch, followed by two sheepdogs, and all were electrocuted. “The shepherd reached out to grab the dead sheep but was pulled back at the last moment by the farmer, narrowly avoiding electrocution,” WorkSafe said.

The house movers continued on their way but were chased down by the farmer and the shepherd. “Following a verbal dispute, a Britton Housemovers employee returned to the scene to put cones down,” WorkSafe said.

“Even after this argument, no Britton Housemovers employee called the appropriate authorities – they were called by the farmer.”

Arthur Britton and his company, Britton Housemovers Limited, were prosecuted in the Hastings District Court for breaching New Zealand’s Electricity Act 1992 and Health and Safety in Employment Act.

Britton was sentenced to four months’ home detention and his company was fined $60,000.

“Electricity is unforgiving. Leaving a live line on the side of the road and not notifying anyone is unacceptable – the shepherd and others in the vicinity could have been killed,” said Brett Murray, general manager of High Hazards and Specialist Services, WorkSafe.

For more details, visit WorkSafe New Zealand

Published on 26 February 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin

A New Zealand Forestry company has been prosecuted after a log weighing more than a tonne slid down a hillside and hit a worker.

The company, HarvestPro New Zealand Limited, was prosecuted in the Gisborne District Court recently for breaching the New Zealand Health and Safety in Employment Act.

The incident occurred in September 2012 when the log came loose from the jaws of a loader and slid down a steep hillside, said WorkSafe New Zealand in a media statement.

The worker sustained “fractures to his arm and leg that have required multiple surgeries and left him unable to work”, Worksafe said.

“The accident was caused by the decision to allow Mr Henare [the worker] to enter the danger zone at the same time that another worker was using the loader to stack logs on the landing above him,” WorkSafe said, in noting Judge Adeane’s findings.

The court fined the company $80,000 and ordered it to pay $40,000 in reparations.

For more details, visit WorkSafe NZ.

Published on 19 June 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

A UK company has been fined £130,000 and gone into liquidation after one of its workers was run over by a van.

The worker was hit and killed as the van was reversing outside a cinema in Ashton-on-Ribble in July 2010, says the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

He had been working on a fit out of a new coffee shop inside the cinema for EMC Contracts on the day of the incident. An EMC employee was driving the van when it hit the worker.

A HSE investigation found the company had no system in place to separate construction traffic and pedestrians.

“The company had written a method statement for the work, which identified the risk of pedestrians being injured by vehicles as a main hazard. However, they failed to state what measures should be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk,” the HSE said.

Last week EMC Contracts Ltd, of Faraday Court in Fulwood, was prosecuted and found guilty of breaching UK health and safety laws.

It was fined £130,000 and ordered to pay £52,790 in costs.

The company has gone into voluntary liquidation.

For more details visit the HSE.

Published on 13 March 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.


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