The Daily Blog Open Mic – Monday – 3rd May 2021

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Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Strange how the truck company and driver that killed this elderly lady are not even mentioned in this article!

    Fatal crash: Elderly woman killed by truck that had a tablet obscuring the driver’s view
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/fatal-crash-elderly-woman-killed-by-truck-that-had-a-tablet-obscuring-the-drivers-view/ODXQP6X7LJIESFCTY6ENL3YGAE/

    Nobody is mentioned as being found guilty for this death or prosecuted by work safe.

    Bit like the Carla Neems case, where an innocent child is killed on the pavement, but if it is for a commercial purpose, no one is found guilty of the death (even if the police try) and the company/driver not fined/jailed and worksafe do not prosecute.

    Nobody prosecuted for this workplace death either. Just kill people and get away with it if you fit the right profile of offender, the law seems blind to you in NZ.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/illegally-working-overstayer-dies-on-the-job-acc-payment-made-to-widow-in-china/OWADEJMGCUYM36WLF6YNKUA2SE/

    Du praised Worksafe NZ’s approach to the investigation as “very professional”.

    “They’re amazing,” she said.

    “My husband worked himself to the bone for his employer, who did nothing for us, for our family, in the aftermath of his death.

    “If he had we could at least try to understand his situation and difficulties, but he didn’t care about us.”

    Worksafe NZ’s investigation report found Yu was working as a builder under the umbrella of a company called Star Echo Ltd (SEL), which was the latest in a string of subcontractors hired to develop the Hobsonville house site.

    Although Zheng Jinghui was director of Star Echo, the discussions and work was taken on by “a very experienced and highly regarded builder in the Chinese building community”. Yu was among those hired to build the house.

    On the day of Yu’s death, he had climbed to an incomplete first floor to work in an area where struts were temporarily pinned by only two nails. A co-worker nearby turned when hearing timber moving and watched Yu “trying to regain his balance”.

    Yu “tried to grab at some joists but wasn’t able to hold on”. He fell feet first through to the ground floor 2.9 metres below, landing on a concrete slab. “As he fell back his head struck a piece of timber that was located on the ground.” Yu was declared dead in hospital two days later.

    The investigation report found Star Echo had three previous interactions with Worksafe NZ with faulty and incomplete scaffolding cited in each instance. The company had received notices compelling improvement from Worksafe NZ but was not prosecuted.

    In this case, there was a recommendation to prosecute the company for removing equipment and tools from the building site before either police or Worksafe NZ arrived in the aftermath of the accident.

    The investigation found Yu was 45 when he died with no visa allowing him to legally work in New Zealand after arriving on a 30-day visitor visa in 2015.

    Du told Worksafe NZ her husband paid $30,000 in China for legal work in New Zealand but realised on arriving here that he had been duped. After paying $1800 to another contact, Yu was connected with the builder who was overseeing work at the Hobsonville site.

    Yu had been living with and working for the builder over three years, who said he had “no knowledge of his salary or other working conditions” which were agreed with Star Echo. The company said it had never received an invoice from Yu for his work.

    Worksafe NZ identified a number of areas at the construction zone that posed risks where workers could fall from a dangerous height. It emphasised the need for builders to protect workers where falls were a risk.

    “If a suitable ‘working at height’ control measure had been in place prior to the incident, the death of this worker could have been prevented.”

    Worksafe NZ found there was “public interest” in prosecuting Star Echo for removing equipment and tools from the building site. It also said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Star Echo over a “breach in relation to its primary duty of care” to Yu as a worker.

    That decision to prosecute was downgraded to a warning letter in April. Worksafe NZ’s specialist investigations boss, Simon Humphries, said the decision was made in the shadow of the pandemic.

    “This is because there was a greater public interest in Covid-19, amongst other reasons, and the offence by SEL was at the less serious end of the scale, as we only would have prosecuted for failure to preserve the site, not for the incident itself.”

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