We have accepted an enforceable undertaking from Higgins Contractors Limited after an incident on 27 February 2018.

The victim (an employee of Higgins Contractors Ltd) was struck on the head when the modified roof of a Paving machine collapsed onto him. The victim suffered severe damage to, and a loss of sight in, his left eye. The victim has since returned to work with the company and is now managing a crew of workers.

Alleged Breach

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

Summary of Enforceable Undertaking

Higgins Contractors Limited will:

  • Provide amends in the form of payment to the victim.
  • Worker information dissemination and engagement.
  • Risk assessments for all paver brands and models being used by the business.
  • Development of a site specific electronic induction form.
  • Development of electronic pre-starts for pavers, based on information gathered during the risk review.
  • Production of a safety video.
  • Funding to CHASNZ for the development of training modules.
  • Presentation to Civil Contractors NZ to share learnings.
  • Make a suitable donation to St John.
  • Make a suitable donation to the Blind Foundation.
  • Make a suitable donation to the Marlin Softball Club.
  • Make a suitable donation to the Toku Mapihi School.

This enforceable undertaking has a total expenditure of at least $365,500 (not including GST or rectifications made arising from the incident).

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 (June 2019); 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.
  • Information received from any interested party in relation to the contravention.
  • Mitigation and remedial action, already taken, or planned, regarding both the contravention and any person affected by the contravention (including victims).
  • The person’s past performance and history of compliance with health and safety legislation.
  • 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.
    • The undertaking accounts for the benefits that accrue to Higgins Contractors by a prosecution not proceeding.
  • 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.

Date accepted

6 November 2019

Further information

View the full enforceable undertaking:

Enforceable undertaking – Higgins Contractors Limited (PDF 3.1 MB)