Carter Holt Harvey has been fined $33,000 after a staff member fell through the eaves of its Carters building supplies store in Porirua in November.
The company pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to take all practicable steps to protect a person in Porirua District Court today.
The man was searching for a product for a customer on the mezzanine floor of the building when he fell. The area did not have any flooring covering the joists or the Hardieboard lining of the eaves on the underside of the joists.
As he returned to the main floor, the man stepped onto the Hardieboard and fell through the eaves, breaking several bones in his lower back area and a rib.
Keith Stewart, chief inspector for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, said the management of Carters were aware staff had to go into the "dangerous space" to get products "but made no effort to stop the product falling into the area, or to cover the brittle lining to ensure the area was safe to access".
The company was fined $33,000 and ordered to pay the victim $12,000 in reparations.
"It was only as a result of this preventable injury to a staff member that Carters remedied the problem," Mr Stewart said.
"Carters should have acted as soon as they knew staff were going into this dangerous space. Their corrective action came too late for this victim."
Carters would not comment when contacted this afternoon.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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