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WorkSafe New Zealand v Portage Management Ltd [2019] NZDC 22825

Published 03 August 2022

Failing to ensure health and safety of any persons — exposing persons to risk of death or serious injury — deck collapse — failure to ensure regular preventive maintenance assessments — fitness for purpose of barrier. The defendant faced charges of failing to ensure the health and safety of any persons, and exposing persons to a risk of death or serious injury. The defendant ran a resort hotel where one night the handrail on the deck collapsed. As a result four of the hotel's patrons fell off the deck and were injured. A WorkSafe investigation showed that the deck had been improperly constructed and maintained. The defendant had failed its duty to control the risk that this created, and also had no system in place for managing risks. The Court found the charges proved and adjourned the matter for sentencing. Judgment Date: 13 November 2019.