Carisbrook Death Investigation Complete
Friday 23 January 1998
Failure to wear the provided safety harness was the major factor in the death of a Dunedin construction worker, an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Service of the Department of Labour (OSH) has found.
Stephen John Young died and another workmate was injured when they fell from a grandstand roof at Carisbrook during redevelopment work on January 13.
Nine New Zealanders have died in the workplace since New Years day, four in the construction sector.
"We can only speculate why Stephen wasnt wearing a safety harness," said Dunedin OSH Branch Manager Andrew Reddie. "He was an experienced foreman and his duties included on-site health and safety management."
Mr Reddie said that no action would be taken against the employer in this case. The investigation had found that Contract Coolstores Ltd. had met their obligations under the Health and Safety in Employment Act by taking all practicable steps to provide a safe place of work.
"The Carisbrook investigation highlights the need for employers, workers, and all those involved in the construction industry to make health and safety paramount in the workplace. This means that where safety appliances are provided by an employer, it is critical that workers use them."
"I am especially saddened by this tragedy as Dunedin OSH has been actively working with the local construction industry, particularly on the prevention of falls from heights," he said.
"OSH will continue to work vigilantly with Otagos construction industry providing education, advice, inspection and investigation services," said Mr Reddie.