Freight forwarder fined over accidents
Mondiale Freight Services, the largest privately owned freight forwarder in New Zealand, has been fined a total of $62,475 for failing to report a series of workplace accidents.
The freight and shipping company appeared in the Manukau District Court today on six charges under the Health and Safety Act.
The court heard that an investigation by the Department of Labour (now the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) into a December 2010 workplace accident stumbled across other accidents that hadn't been reported.
Claire Morris, an Auckland health and safety manager for the ministry, said each of the incidents involved serious harm to a worker.
"These were not minor incidents - they involved a crushed foot, a fractured thumb requiring six weeks off work and a fractured rib requiring a month off work," Morris said.
"It is a fundamental right of workers to expect to go home safe after work."
The company had a legal obligation to report them as soon as they occurred and then follow up with a formal written notification, she said.
The incidents occurred within the space of a year.
Mondiale took a lackadaisical attitude to its notification responsibilities which was unacceptable, she said.
"This case should come as a big wake-up call to those with notification obligations."
Meanwhile, Auckland-based director Philip Bramwell said the company would not be commenting on the fines.
The Companies Office lists the three other directors of the company as Bryan Hutson, Grant Ryder and John Sargent, all of Auckland.
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