Civil Aviation Authority v The Helicopter Line Ltd [2018] NZDC 3559

Published 02 March 2018

Failure to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of an employee while at work — failure to take all practicable steps to ensure that no action or inaction of any employee while at work harmed any other person — sentencing — Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, ss 6, 15 & 50 (1) (a) — Department of Labour v Hanham and Philp Contractors Ltd (2008) 6 NZELR 79 (HC) — Creegan v New Zealand Defence Force — Jones v WorkSafe New Zealand [2015] NZHC 781 — WorkSafe New Zealand v Bryant — WorkSafe New Zealand v Vanu [2016] NZDC 6046 — WorkSafe New Zealand v Ministry of Social Development [2016] NZDC 24649 — Department of Labour v Eziform Roofing Products Limited [2013] NZGHC 1526. The defendant company was sentenced following the death of one passenger and serious injury of the other occupants resulting from one of it's helicopters crashing in 2014. The court noted that the parties had previously agreed that the failings of the defendant company were not causative of the crash and that reparation was not an appropriate sentence. The company's culpability was found to fall towards the higher end of the middle band of culpability identified in "Hanham and Philp"; no aggravating features were found to be associated with the offending . Small discounts were applied in respect of the defendant's offer to make amends and reparation, cooperation with the CAA, remorse, remedial action and favourable safety record. A 20 per cent discount was applied for the defendant's guilty plea. The defendant was found not to be entitled to a further discount for claimed procedural delays. The defendant company was convicted and fined a total of $47,600. Judgment Date: 1 March 2018.