Health & safety

Extensive track record in health and safety.

We are well placed to help you as a result of our vast health and safety (H&S) experience advising some of New Zealand’s largest businesses on their H&S obligations and issues.

You’ll benefit from our deep understanding of the H&S regime and our experience across all sectors of the economy. This includes those industries where employees work in potentially high risk environments such as construction, aviation, manufacturing, forestry, mining, maritime, tourism ventures, farming and port companies.

We regularly advise employers on their obligations under the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 (and its predecessor), H&S investigations and prosecutions, both directly and through insurers. We have been involved in a significant number of high profile H&S cases involving serious harm and workplace fatalities and have advised on some of New Zealand’s highest profile coronial inquests.

We have advised:

  • New Zealand Aluminium Smelters, the largest single operating site in New Zealand, on a broad range of employment and H&S issues, including workplace drug testing and H&S prosecutions
  • the New Zealand Mines Rescue Trust in the Royal Commission hearing into the Pike River coal mine tragedy
  • Beca in the Royal Commission hearing into the Canterbury earthquakes
  • a variety of tourism operators in H&S investigations and prosecutions, including investigations by WorkSafe, Maritime NZ and Transport Accident Investigation Commission:
    • The Helicopter Line in relation to a fatal accident on Mt Alta near Wanaka
    • the owner of the sky-diving plane that crashed at Fox Glacier in 2010 killing nine people
    • a commercial jet boat driver from Kawarau Jet in a jury trial, following the death of a tourist in an accident. The driver was acquitted
    • Ngāi Tahu Tourism arising out of an accident involving two jet boats operated by Dart River Jet Safaris on the Dart River
    • the owner of the helicopter which crashed on Fox Glacier in November 2015, killing seven people
    • the Earthquake Commission (EQC) in a substantial investigation by WorkSafe into asbestos in the Christchurch rebuild programme
    • Lyttelton Port Company in a fatal accident at the Port and the subsequent prosecution
    • Heron Construction following the death of two employees in a boating accident while working on the seage outfall project
  • Valley Longwall International, a supplier of specialised equipment services to the mining industry, and associated companies regarding the Pike River coal tragedy, representing them at the subsequent inquests, Royal Commission of Inquiry, and H&S prosecution. Valley Longwall lost three workers in the coal mine explosions
  • Spotswood College in New Plymouth, in relation to the Paritutu Rock tragedy, in which three students were swept off Paritutu Rock and drowned while participating in an outdoor education activity
  • an extensive range of other corporate and industrial clients on H&S investigations and prosecutions, including:
    • Mighty River Power (now Mercury) in relation to an H&S prosecution following an accident that occurred on one of its worksites
    • Delta and PowerNet in a WorkSafe investigation and prosecution following the death of a lineman Paramount Mining in relation to the death on the mine-site, near Hokitika
    • Safe Air, a subsidiary of Air New Zealand specialising in aviation maintenance and repair, in relation to an employee killed while servicing an aircraft engine
    • two farming companies following incidents where people were killed in burn-offs
  • a wide variety of clients on other strategic and operational H&S issues including:
    • directors' duties following the release of the Royal Commission findings into the Pike River coal mine tragedy
    • health and safety systems and the compliance with the law, and
    • appropriate earthquake prone building policies following the Canterbury earthquakes.

    Corporate & commercial; Insurance; Litigation & dispute resolution

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