Canterbury company fined $157k after workplace accident

Christchurch, Court
It's one of the first punishments under the new Health and Safety act. Photo credit: File

A Canterbury business has been ordered to pay a fine of $157,500, after one of its employees fell through an office floor that was built without consent or compliance.

Rangiora Carpets Limited was prosecuted by Worksafe NZ for failing to ensure the safety of its employees, after the incident in June last year.

That employee, who has name suppression, broke several bones, including their collarbone, shoulder, a fractured pelvis and suffered lacerations to the head. 

It's one of the first sentencings under the new Health and Safety Act, introduced after the 2010 Pike River Mine tragedy, and carries a maximum fine of $1.5 million.

Despite the company pleading guilty, Tim Mackenzie, the defence lawyer for the workplace, called the new act "over strict" and told the Christchurch District Court that not a lot of thought had been put in to how a small trader would be affected. 

Rangiora Carpets Limited has also been ordered to pay $20,000 in reparations and $1228 in prosecution costs.