5 Jun 2010

Fatal fall from roof brings call for law review

3:03 pm on 5 June 2010

The death in 2007 of a teenager who fell from a roof he was painting has led the Wellington Coroner to call for part of the law on health and safety to be reviewed.

Seventeen-year-old Wiremu Ward was warned by a co-worker to stay off the roof until overnight dew had dried.

But as she left the property to go to another job, a child came running from the house to tell her the teenager had fallen.

He died in hospital a month later.

Charges against Carl Kerr, the man Wiremu Ward worked for, were dismissed because of confusion about whether Mr Ward was an employee or an independent contractor.

The Coroner, Ian Smith, has recommended the law be reviewed to offer greater protection to contractors.