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WorkSafe New Zealand v Topham Holding Ltd [2017] NZDC 27224

Published 01 August 2018

Failure to ensure removal of asbestos before demolition — asbestos — demolition obligations — sentencing — award of costs — Rangiora Carpets Ltd — Budget Plastics New Zealand Ltd. The defendant was the owner of a chicken shed that was demolished before cladding that contained asbestos was removed. The court was unable to put weight on the defendant's assertions that he did not appreciate that the shed may have contained asbestos. An asbestos removal company was engaged by the defendant only once a prohibition notice was put in place. Culpability was set at the high end of the medium band with reference to the defendant's actual or deemed knowledge of the asbestos as specific warnings were given by WorkSafe in 2015. Discounts were given to recognise the defendant's co-operation and remedial action. The defendant company was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay both court costs and the costs of the prosecution. Judgment Date: 23 November 2017.