Building company ordered to pay $15,000 after employee falls 3 metres from man cage

A building company has been ordered to pay $15,000 in reparations after an untrained, unsupervised employee was injured in a three-metre fall from a man cage.

New Vision Building and Construction staff must also attend height safety training courses after the April 2018 incident, which occurred while they were working on an agricultural shed in Kerikeri.

A team of workers were using a man cage attached to a tractor's front loader to build the shed, but the fork attachment gave way and the worker came down with the cage.

The worker fell out of the cage as it dropped - but as their harness wasn't connected correctly, their legs hit the ground in the fall, causing them to suffer knee ligament damage and bruising to joints.

A WorkSafe investigation found that none of the workers on the site had been trained to use height safety equipment, nor were they supervised by a competent person.

It also discovered that New Vision employees were unable to identify that the forklift attachment holding the man cage was not securely attached to the tractor.

"Workers who carry out work at height should be competent in the identification and safe use of the most appropriate tool for the task they are undertaking," WorkSafe's acting chief inspector Danielle Henry said.

"New Vision Building and Construction Limited failed to ensure appropriate plant and equipment was used by its workers, and failed to develop an effective safe system of work for the construction of the shed."

Henry said the equipment used was "not appropriate for the task", and that workers should not have been allowed to operate the tractor nor work from the height they were at when the incident occurred.

At the Auckland District Court on Wednesday, New Vision was ordered to pay $15,000 in reparations to the injured employee - $1144 of which is consequential loss.

It also received a training order to ensure height safety training courses were undertaken by both the director and workers.