We have accepted an enforceable undertaking from Bowers & Son Limited after an incident on 9 February 2017.

On 9 February 2017, the victim was working alone and started using bottle jacks to separate the inner mould of a circular trough assembly. A bottle jack became dislodged while under hydraulic tension and part of it (believed to have been the handle) struck the victim on the head which caused lacerations and a skull fracture.

The victim continues to suffer from the on-going consequences of traumatic brain injury.

Alleged Breach

Sections 36(1) (a), 48(1) and 2(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Summary of Enforceable Undertaking

Bowers & Son Ltd will:

  • Provide amends in the form of payment to the victim; support to the victim; and ACC top-up;
  • Fund a subject matter expert to develop a Precast Concrete Competency Framework and implement the same into their business;
  • Have a Health and Safety resource undertake National Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety Level 4;
  • Undertake online SafePlus+ performance benchmarking and engage with an advisor on implementing improvements; and
  • Provide funding for two years to Te Awamutu College to allow 60 students access to digital devices.

This enforceable undertaking has a total expenditure of at least $216,000

Reasons for Accepting the Undertaking

The alleged contravention does not amount to an offence against section 47 (reckless conduct) which would preclude it from being accepted.

The enforceable undertaking meets the requirements of WorkSafe’s Enforceable Undertakings Operational Policy (July 2017); noting:

  • The nature of the proposals in the application and the benefits that would be realised to the health and safety system from them.
    • The activities in the enforceable undertaking will provide long-term sustainable health and safety improvements in the workplace, industry, and community.
  • The nature of the alleged contravention and how serious it was.
    • The incident was serious.
  • Information received from any interested party in relation to the contravention.
    • The victim, Concrete NZ and Te Awamutu College support an enforceable undertaking as a suitable enforcement outcome to the incident.
  • Mitigation and remedial action, already taken, or planned, regarding both the contravention and any person affected by the contravention (including victims). In addition to the measures outlined above, Bowers & Son Ltd:
    • Expressed deep regret that the incident occurred and that a serious injury was suffered by the victim;
    • Undertook a review of procedures for manufacturing trough models with workers; and
    • Created a full time Foreman role and appointed full time Health and Safety resource, and contracted a subject matter safety professional to support and mentor new resource.
  • The person’s past performance and history of compliance with health and safety legislation is satisfactory.
  • Any likely outcome if the matter were dealt with by legal proceedings.
    • A charge was filed in relation to this incident on the basis that there was both evidential sufficiency, and a public interest in initiating prosecution. A successful prosecution outcome may have resulted.
  • Any other matter which WorkSafe thinks is relevant.
    • The undertaking delivers benefits beyond compliance.
    • The undertaking offers sufficient benefit to the workplace, industry and community to offset the seriousness of the offending.
    • The undertaking contains acceptable terms.
    • The undertaking accounts for the benefits that accrue to Bowers & Son Ltd by a prosecution not proceeding.

Date accepted

15 August 2018

Further information

View the full Enforceable Undertaking:

Enforceable undertaking - Bowers & Son Limited (PDF 4.6 MB)