WorkSafe agrees to enforceable undertaking in truck driver death

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 4, 2022

WorkSafe New Zealand has accepted an enforceable undertaking in response to an avoidable death at a Waikato landfill site.

Sixty-year-old truck driver Gratten Layne was standing at the rear of his truck when he was struck and killed by a loader driven by another worker at the Hampton Downs landfill in March 2020.

As an alternative to prosecution, WorkSafe has accepted an enforceable undertaking put forward by Layne’s employer, EnviroWaste Services Limited. This is a legally binding commitment which includes reparations to Gratten Layne’s family, an artificial intelligence technology initiative in health and safety, the development and implementation of a methodology to better understand dynamic risk, the development and implementation of a worker engagement tool for work variability and adaption, the development and implementation of a methodology for worker critical analysis and thinking skills, and funding for a youth alcohol and drug programme in the Waikato region.

The overall agreement comes at a minimum cost of nearly $1 million to EnviroWaste.

“The investment EnviroWaste is prepared to make exceeds what even the courts may have ordered in penalties,” said WorkSafe’s head of specialist interventions, Dr Catherine Gardner.

“This demonstrates a substantial commitment to health and safety and will see benefits being directed back to workers, the industry, and the community. It underlines what I often say – enforceable undertakings are not a soft option for businesses.”

WorkSafe said it will regularly monitor progress on the conditions which have been agreed.

“We are particularly keen to see the outcome of EnviroWaste’s study into how visual artificial intelligence can aid traffic risk management on worksites, and how the findings can be shared with other organisations.”