The renovation firm that caused the death of a Christchurch worker during construction work has been fined $300,000.

Nov 27, 2022 | News & Tips

A Canterbury-based renovations company was ordered to pay nearly $300,000 in reparations after a worker fell from a roof and died during construction last year.

John Moreton, popularly known as “Johnny Marbles”, died while painting the roof of a building in the Christchurch suburb of Sydenham last February.

A local business contracted J & J Decorators Ltd to do roof paint on their building. J & J Decorators Ltd is a small local company that specializes in contracting for small construction projects across the city.

On February 4 last year, while painting on the southeast corner of a roof, a man fell over and plummet 4.5 meters to his death.

Dans Renovations was finally charged by WorkSafe because they violated health and safety statutes when working on the roof of the building. They did not complete a site-specific safety plan and they didn’t install any edge protection on the roof.

The result was four workers were exposed to risks, including injury or death.
This is a sentence rewriter.

The company, which does renovations including bedrooms, kitchens, and occasionally maintenance-type work on commercial buildings later pleaded guilty at the Christchurch District Court to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

In this case, the impression of the death was devastating and multidimensional. It felt across generations for the victim’s family.

Moreton’s wife took the stand during the sentencing hearing, describing the man as a “wonderful husband with a big heart” and that his death has been “devastating, heartbreaking.”

His death has had an immense impact on both the whole family and nation as a whole.

After John’s death devastated the group, they realized how much they would miss him. “He was the most precious person,” Francesca said.

“I’ve lost my whole world. There’s no going back to the way things were before.”

At the time, a lawyer representing the company said that they “believed harnesses would be used” but they weren’t. However, they added that the company is not shying away from what happened.

Daniel Grobler, the company’s sole director who was the person responsible for mitigating the accident, has since completed a certificate in health and safety. Grobler is trying to ensure that this will never happen again.

To put this into perspective, I wanted to offer the following facts: First, the amount of $261,695 is the total company has to pay. Second, this comes out of a multi-million dollar business. Third, that means that every employee at Uber has to pay over $1,000 in fines and restitution.

Dan’s Renovations was not experienced in working at heights. Work Safe noted that this was an issue as they had very little experience, which was a downside to the company.

“This incident is a lesson to us all that the flat roof doesn’t mean it’s structurally safe,” said Dr. Catherine Gardner, Executive Director at WorkSafe. “Especially when it’s over 4.5m high.”

A recent study showed that workers feel more comfortable at websites with a formal website policy. There’s no danger of violations that might undermine the safety and trustworthiness of your business.

“A lead contractor owes all workers on-site a duty of care, whether they’re subcontractors or your own staff.”

“Lead contractors must ensure the risks are being controlled to ensure everyone’s well-being.”

All jobs in which someone is required to work at height have specific, established expectations. If those expectations are followed, people should be safe and less likely to put themselves in danger.

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