Record fine in Nelson Dive case
Tuesday 24 July 2001
The Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH) welcome todays sentencing of the Nelson Dive Centre Limited.
Nelson Dive Centre Ltd were sentenced in the Nelson District Court after been found guilty earlier this year to charges relating to the death of three students, and the serious harming of three others.
The company was fined a total of $75,000.
Andrew Stuart, the dive instructor who pleaded guilty this month, was also sentenced to pay $15,000.
"These fines do not compensate for loss of life or injury, however it shows that the courts and New Zealand do not accept unsafe work practices," said OSH Media Spokesperson, Madeleine Setchell.
"This case serves as a tragic example of why all employers need to identify and control hazards in the workplace, wherever that workplace may be.
This sentencing comes in the same week that OSH has released a new set of guidelines for occupational diving.
Designed especially for the New Zealand diving industry The Guidelines provide concise information about the administrative procedures required to be adopted by occupational divers and persons involved in occupational diving activities.
The guidelines cover all forms of occupational diving throughout New Zealand. These include construction diving, aqauculture diving, scientific diving, media diving and recreational diving for an instructor or tutor.
The Guidelines have been issued as a working document and it is intended that they will be reviewed in two years time at the end of May 2003.
"This case has attracted huge national and international interest," said Miss Setchell.
"It is essential that all persons involved in occupational diving are aware of their own responsibilities and the responsibilities of all other persons involved in the diving work."