In a major development, Maritime New Zealand is fining two companies for hiding information on a worker getting burnt while welding onboard a ship. The authorities learned about the incident second-hand and ordered a fine of $40,000 and more in total.
The worker was welding a pipe in a confined space onboard the ship when he got injured. He heard a noise in the pipe and was then thrown backwards by a blow. He received minor burns on his neck. He then informed his employer about the incident, and the regulators think that, at this point, the companies should have reported it.
The two companies, Anchor Engineering Ltd and Sturrock and Greenwood Ltd, were sentenced with a fine for not reporting the incident on a fishing vessel at Nelson port.
While the former undertook the welding work in the fishing vessel, the latter removed ammonia gas from the fridge.
Maritime NZ highlighted the case stating that such incidents need to be reported immediately, and failing to do so will result in such actions as per the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Maritime New Zealand got to know of the incident last year from the WorkSafe New Zealand report, which was made nearly 11 months after it happened in 2018
Maritime NZ clarified that the policy entailed that they report or contact the regulator for clarification when they are in doubt, which the two companies didn’t.
Anchor has been asked to pay $13000 to the regulators while Sturrock will pay $9560. They are also charged $9600 and $8400, respectively, as fines.
References: Mirage News, New Zealand Herald