28.08.2019

Stop Press: “It was pure luck that nobody was killed”

Earlier this month, we set out an overview of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) as it applies to landlords and tenants.

On 23 August 2019, the first sentencing decision involving a landlord was delivered by the District Court.  The New Zealand Herald reports that the landlord of a childcare centre was fined $89,250, ordered to pay reparation of $30,800 and other costs of $2,250.

The fine was imposed after a dead tree, described by WorkSafe as a “very obvious risk”, toppled over in November 2016 at a Newmarket childcare centre and seriously injured four toddlers.  WorkSafe alleged that the landlord, Heng Tong Investment Limited which leased the property to the childcare centre, Discoveries Educare, had “not carried out regular visits, assessments or inspections”.  The childcare centre was fined more than $200,000 for its involvement in the incident.

The sentencing outcome is a salient reminder to both landlords and tenants of the importance of routine inspection of premises for hazards, and most importantly eliminating or minimising any hazards that are identified.  If you require further information, please contact our health and safety team or commercial property team.

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