Thursday, June 25, 2015

Will Sanity Prevail? Corporate Manslaughter?



or will we have a charade of Bennett seeking out sanity while other Nats are building bigger piles of nonsense.

In the wake of Pike River a lynch mob have been clamouring for a hanging  with poor old Peter Withall as the nigger.

Withall who had only been at the helm of the mine as manager for weeks was just the most convenient scapegoat.
Far more complicit were;
The mung bean eating tree huggers who with their crazy antics around  "its a nasty corporate so everything they plan is bad" tactical nonsense led directly to a very flawed mine design.
Successive government MPs and public servants who castrated aged mine safety oversight  developed in earlier situations without finding replacement rules to oversee modern mine safety.
DoC management and staff who in the same mindset as the tree huggers modified best practice in creating the opportunity to recover the very valuable coal resource.
The workers first stop on the scene, "mine safetymanager" who sadly lost a son in the what turned out to be an inevitable explosion.
Many of the miners and contractors who died but who it was hinted ignored or modified rules and best practice  in daily operations.
And of course Withall's predecessors

If there are deficiencies around 'negligence' and 'gross negligence' in the current law then review those, there is no need to create another monster that will only become a make work opportunity for underemployed lawyers at great cost to taxpayers,  as a populist response.

Take the often crazy H and S laws around quad bikes where all ability for an experienced operator  to make rational choices around risk and appropriate actions, are swamped with a one size fits all stupid rule that is targetted to protect a complete idiot. That the penalty for a possible error that may or may not reslt in an incident is well illustrated with the penalty for a Mongrel Mob member riding sans helmet at 1%  of the H&S fine recently levied on two share milkers who refused to comply with idiotic rules. That said I guess the relative values  to society is well regarded in that.
Will a "corporate" employer of a disobedient worker who by their own stupidity manages to fully comply with the Darwin laws be liable to a charge of Corporate Manslaughter and we all know the financial and personal damage inflicted in even a failed prosecution can be extremely harsh, struggling to make a defence.

Take the tragedy that occurred at Gebbies Valley two days ago when a Toyota Surf slid into a school bus as a result of black ice, should the Shareholders, the Board, the Management and the driver of that bus have had the vehicle on the road in conditions as bad as any in recent times, were they all guilty of possible corporate manslaughter of the Toyota driver.

If those in power need any hints as to the inanity around the current nonsense they should only view who are the most vociferous amongst those clamouring.
Bernie Monk, Matira Turei, Helen Kelly, Andrew Little, a handful of assorted legals who would have no conflict at all.

1 comment:

The Veteran said...

GD ... I agree with the PM that the wording of the Bill will require very careful scrutiny. Accidents do happen, sometimes caused by a bizarre set of circumstances that defies all logic.

I will be particularly interested to know how this might apply to the military and the police whose job, by its very nature, can be inherently dangerous. Is the Range Safety Officer in the tower at the Grenade Throwing Range somehow to blame when the soldier throwing the grenade manages to lob it 90 degrees sideways into the adjacent throwing bay ... as happened to me once?

Unless this is properly thought through it could be opening up a real can of worms.