WorkSafe New Zealand v Smart Environmental Limited [2021] NZDC 20061

Published 16 June 2022

Sentencing — failing to comply with duty — exposing individual to risk of death or serious injury — Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, ss 7-10, 43, 151 & 152-158 — Stumpmaster v WorkSafe New Zealand [2018] 3 NZLR 881 — Dept of Labour v Eziform Roofing Products Ltd (2013] 11 NZELR 1, [2013] NZHC 1526 — Worksafe New Zealand v Crafar Crouch Construction (Picton) Ltd [2020] DCR 64, [2019] NZDC 8209 — WorkSafe New Zealand v Sunday Hive Co Ltd [2018] NZDC 20796 — WorkSafe New Zealand v N E Parkes & Sons Ltd [2020] NZDC 25449 — WorkSafe New Zealand v Ritchies Transport Holdings Ltd [2019] NZDC 18495 — WorkSafe New Zealand v Sorensen Transport Ltd [2019] NZDC 15469 — WorkSafe New Zealand v Car Haulaways Ltd [2021] NZDC 3119 — Ballard v Department of Labour (2010) 7 NZELR 301. The defendant company was for sentence, having pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to comply with the relevant duty and exposing an individual to risk of death or serious injury. The defendant provided waste collection services. The victim, who was an employee of the company, had been driving a work vehicle, fell out of the vehicle and died after the vehicle ran him over. In setting a starting point for a fine, the Court took into account the steps taken by the defendant to mitigate the risk of harm, as well as the conduct of the victim in operating the vehicle as he had been speeding and was on his cellphone. The Court assessed the offending as at the high end of the medium band and set a starting point for fine at $500,000. Discounts were given for amends, reparation, cooperation, remorse and remedial action post offence. A full discount was given for an early guilty plea. No discount was given for prior good safety record of the company. The total discounts given were 45 per cent, resulting in an end fine of $275,000. Court and prosecution costs were also ordered. Judgment Date: 16 August 2021.