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NZ company ordered to pay $500k fine over elderly man’s death after mobility scooter fall

One of the companies responsible for an elderly man’s "entirely avoidable death" has been fined $500,000. 

The 77-year-old died after he fell from his mobility scooter when it hit a damaged section of a footpath in Auckland’s Papatoetoe in March 2017.

Worksafe chief investigator Hayden Mander said Shannon Thompson Concrete Pumps Limited did not turn up for sentencing at Manukau District Court today. 

"This company had already been convicted in May last year for obstructing our investigation into this entirely avoidable death," he said.

"Our investigation found Shannon Thompson Concrete Pumps Limited had failed to work with other companies on site to identify the damaged footpath as a risk."

The footpath was damaged by heavy vehicles during construction. Nothing was put in place to manage the risk of the vehicles’ entry and exit into the work site.

The company did not carry out a site-specific risk assessment and failed to identify the risk, Worksafe determined. 

"Shannon Thompson Concrete Pumps Limited’s total lack of regard for the family and the company’s role in the man’s death is reflected in this massive fine. There was no deduction from the starting point of $500,000 as the judge did not find that there were any applicable mitigating factors," Mr Mander said.

Last year, YSB Group was fined $100,000 for their involvement in the man’s death. It was ordered to pay $100,000 in reparation on behalf of both companies. 

A WorkSafe investigation found YSB group also did not identify risks associated with the damaged footpath.

An Auckland company has been fined $500,000 for its role in an elderly man's death after he fell off his mobility scooter when it hit a damaged section of a footpath in Papatoetoe. Source: istock.com