Women worked like ‘slaves’ for $40 a week

Two Fijian women have described how for months they worked seven-day weeks for $40 in the home of a Wellington businesswoman who is charged with exploiting them. "I was just like a slave to them. I did not feel free at all," one of the women said in a written statement, included in court committal papers obtained by The Dominion Post. She was told that, if she didn't like her conditions, she could go to work at a strip club. Her former [...]

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Company fined for not preventing fall from height

Roofing company Metind Limited (formerly Metalcraft Industries Limited) has been fined $43,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $10,000 after an employee was seriously injured after falling more than three metres from a roof. The Auckland District Court heard that on 9 June 2011 three employees of Metind Limited were working on a single storey Keith Hay residential home in Glen Innes, Auckland. “While reaching down to secure a safe hold on the damp ridge of the roof, one of the [...]

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DOL urges against complacency on building sites

As the working year kicks off, the Department of Labour is urging those in the construction sector to remember the importance of safe work practices. “People are going back to work after a few weeks off, but this doesn’t mean anyone can be complacent about safety issues,” says Jean Martin, the Department’s Labour Group Southern Division General Manager. “Hundreds of construction workers are injured on building sites every year - invariably these accidents can be preventable if every care is taken. [...]

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Pike River: DOL Mines Inspector tells of “impossible task”

Kevin Poynter setting the record straight at the Pike River Inquiry.The Labour Department has made only two prosecutions of underground mines in New Zealand since 2005, an inquiry into the Pike River tragedy has heard. Alan Cooper, the department's health and safety practice leader, admitted he had not known the number of prosecutions was so small. The department needed to have a "clearer focus on potential for harm", he told the inquiry at Greymouth District Court this afternoon. Nigel [...]

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Fire-stopping mortar failure causes fatal fall

File PhotoA fire alarm technician died from head injuries after falling 10 metres when a section of a floor he was walking on collapsed under him. The section of floor that collapsed was made from a fire-stopping mortar. The technician was working in a plant room on the second level of a multi-storey commercial building under construction. A space had been boxed out in the floor of the plant room when the slab was poured to accommodate [...]

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Man crushed by falling generator named

The accident scene at TransDiesel.Police have released the name of a man crushed by a generator in a workplace accident on Hornby, Christchurch yesterday. Neville Raymond Sutherland, 30, was delivering a large generator when a forklift removing it from his truck toppled over, crushing him to death. Emergency services were called to the premises of TransDiesel Limited at Calgary Place in Hornby just before midday. Mr Sutherland died at the scene. A witness who did not want to be named told APNZ [...]

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DOL releases action plan to cut forestry deaths

A new plan to reduce the number of forestry workers being injured or killed has been launched by the Department of Labour. Of the five sectors where the most harm is occurring – construction, agriculture, forestry, manufacturing and fishing – forestry has the highest rate of workplace deaths. In the past five years 24 forestry workers have been killed - the Forestry Sector Action Plan sets out a plan to reduce this toll. Its part of the National Action Agenda which [...]

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Work the deciding factor in migrants choosing Auckland

The ability to find work is the determining factor in migrants choosing to settle in Auckland. The Department of Labour has carried out in-depth studies of 64 of the 6,000 people who took part in its Longitudinal Immigration Survey (LisNZ) 6, 18 and 36 months after arrival. Twenty-four of them were from Auckland. This study is the second published – after Wellington - into why and how migrants settle in different locations within New Zealand. A report on the Why Auckland? [...]

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Company fined after employee loses toes in wharf accident

Northport Wharf - WhangareiNorthland Stevedoring Services Limited has been fined $37,500 today following an accident at Northport Wharf, which resulted in an employee on his first day at work having three toes amputated. The company has also been ordered to pay $15,000 in reparation after the accident on 15 November 2010. The Whangarei District Court heard that the employee’s right foot became trapped between the wharf buffer and a vessel as he passed a piece of timber to a colleague. “Just as [...]

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Fulton Hogan fined $38,400 after employee bridge fall

Contracting giant, Fulton Hogan, has been fined $38,400 after an employee fell about three metres onto a riverbed while repairing a bridge on the West Coast of the South Island. The accident happened on 20 August 2009 while maintenance work was being done on the single-lane steel and wooden Big Wainihinihi Bridge on State Highway 73 between Greymouth and Christchurch. The employee stepped onto what he thought was a steel ‘I’ beam and fell about three metres onto a riverbed [...]

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