Security firm ‘not guilty’ over employee death

A young man let down by his employer and now the courts.

A young man let down by his employer and now the courts.

CNE Security the company that employed murdered security guard Charanpreet Dhaliwal is not responsible for his death, the Waitakere District Court has ruled. Dhaliwal was killed on his first night on the job as a security guard in November 2011. A 27-year-old man, whose name is suppressed, was charged with his murder but acquitted in the High Court at Auckland last month.

CNE Security was charged with failing to secure Dhaliwal’s safety under section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

Helen Kelly, Council of Trade Unions president, said the latest ruling lowers the bar for all workers making them all less safe and the CTU will appeal the decision.

“The agreed facts included in the judgement show little care was taken when Mr Dhaliwal was engaged including an unclear induction process, no regular system for checking, no easy method of communications and insufficient scrutiny of the employee’s ability to safely undertake the job, yet the Court has said all of this is acceptable,” said Kelly.

“We have here a young man with little experience, dead after one night at work on a remote building site after a 20 minute induction from a young man who himself had only one night experience and now we have a judge saying the law says this acceptable.”

Kelly said the decision created an intolerably low threshold of care and the CTU will call on the Ministry of Justice to appeal the decision.


I am firmly with Helen Kelly on this issue. CNE Security was placing a new employee into a role that by its nature has the very real threat of serious arm. This threat cannot be completely eliminated but it can be minimised through a thorough induction training process, a ‘buddy’ system for new employees on the job, adequate communications equipment and not placing new employees on a solo static assignment on their first night. Regardless of how the judge has interpreted the law any company that thinks this is acceptable behaviour is failing its employees miserably. The bar has not been lowered with this ruling – it hasn’t even been but on the posts.