On 12 May 2016 a worker employed by Directionz Limited was working on a bridge where he was cutting bolts off the posts from below the bridge using a portable angle grinder. When cutting the fourth bolt off the post, the 1mm fibre cut-off blade being used disintegrated with fragments striking the worker on his face which penetrated his safety glasses.

The worker suffered serious cuts to his cheek, eye region and forehead and subsequently had his left eye removed and a prosthetic eye fitted.

The worker has completed a return to work programme and is fully integrated within the team.

Alleged Breach

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

Summary of Enforceable Undertaking

Directionz Ltd will:

  • Provide financial reparation to the victim.
  • Deploy a higher qualified Health, Safety, Quality and Environment Co-ordinator to oversee implementation of commitments to improvements in Health and Safety systems and terms of the undertaking.  This includes the dissemination of information and supervision of training and accreditation requirements.  The Co-ordinator, among other things, will also undertake monthly report and confirmation that the EU requirements are being addressed.
  • Provide Incident Cause Analysis Method training for regional managers.
  • Have operational managers (10) accredited with the SiteSafe Supervisor Gold Card.
  • Have all staff complete and pass the CONSTRUCTSAFE programme and SiteSafe passport.
  • Engage services of Massey University and other consultants/experts to provide a “best practice” working guide for laymen (to meet NZS 1336).
  • Provide “safe operation” documentation for grinding equipment to retail and safety suppliers for distribution to staff.
  • Purchase space for an advertorial in the NZ Herald and NZ Civil Contractors magazine.
  • Make a donation to the Blind Foundation.
  • Develop and deliver a work and safety programme for local High School students (16 students over 2 years).

This enforceable undertaking has a total expenditure of at least $233,674.18

Further Information

View the full Directionz Limited enforceable undertaking here.

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; noting:
    • The nature of the alleged contravention and how serious it was.
      • The alleged contravention was considered to be at the medium end of seriousness given the inadequate risk assessment; and failure to provide suitable Personal Protective Equipment to the worker.
    • Submissions received from any interested party, including any victim(s), in relation to the contravention.
      • The victim did not oppose the undertaking and agreed to assist with the deployment of a Trauma Management System as he wishes to share his experiences and assist others.
    • The person’s conduct in respect of mitigation and remedial action, regarding both the contravention and any person affected by the contravention (including victims).
    • Directionz has:
      • Expressed sincere regret that the incident occurred and that a serious injury was suffered by the victim;
      • Committed to the following rectifications:
        • Enforcement and constant vigilance for changing conditions which may result in methodology changes, use or type of equipment or PPE gear or both to control hazard;
        • Requiring reciprocating saws to be always used as first tool of choice for cutting;
        • Improved their Safe Operating Procedures for Angel Grinders;
        • Required a written and agreed methodology for unusual, different or higher risk work;
        • Improve a proactive and consultative approach to safety with contractors and all other workers and PCBUs;
        • Continue to expand Directionz health and safety culture to achieve a harm free work environment.
        • Shown a commitment to implementing the activities agreed in this undertaking.
    • The activities in the enforceable undertaking will provide long-term sustainable health and safety improvements in the workplace, industry and community. 
    • The person’s past performance and history of compliance with health and safety legislation.
      • Directionz Limited does not have any previous health and safety convictions.
    • 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 Directionz Limited by the prosecution.

Enforceable undertaking - Directionz Ltd (PDF 208 KB)