You may think that serious injury cases are few and far between and that your business has enough safety precautions in place. Sometimes, it takes a high profile case to stir complacency and move us to re-visit our procedures. Here are two examples from the WorkSafe Court Summaries that show that even in some of the more safety conscious workplaces, procedures may fail. With maximum fines of up to $250,000, it’s important to get things right.
Hamilton City Council (Hamilton Zoo)
A Zoo curator entered the tiger enclosure to feed the tigers. She placed the tigers’ meat in the feed flap in the tiger den but did not close any gates between the outside enclosure and the tiger den. She later returned to the main tiger enclosure to cut bamboo for the red pandas. The victim was found deceased in the main tiger enclosure. You may have thought that the fatality was due to a mistake on the curators part, however the outcome was much different.
Transfield Services (New Zealand) Limited
This second case highlights how a simple unsafe vehicle manoeuvre can have tragic consequences. While undertaking road maintenance at Island Block Road Meremere a maintenance truck and trailer unit reversed over a member of the public on a motorcycle resulting in fatal injuries.
This was a very easily avoidable incident that, with better risk assessment and safety procedures in place would never have happened.