15 Oct 2013

Security company cleared in case of guard's death

3:59 pm on 15 October 2013

The company that employed a security guard who died on his first shift has been cleared of failing to provide a safe workplace.

A man was cleared in September of killing 22-year-old Charanpreet Dhaliwal, who was patrolling a construction site in Auckland two years ago when he was attacked at night and hit on the head with a wooden post.

Now, a written decision has come after a two-day hearing at the Waitakere District Court in February,

clearing CNE Security on of a health and safety charge.

However, the head of the company, Cherag Elavia, says the decision brings relief but no joy. He says Mr Dhaliwal's mother still lives through the tragedy every day and she has got no closure because the man accused of his murder has also been cleared.

Mr Elavia says CNE Security has practically folded because of what happened.

The Department of Labour had charged the company with failing to provide a safe workplace, and also alleged that Mr Dhaliwal had an insufficient induction and should have been checked on more frequently.

Judge Lisa Tremewan says the site was busy most of the night with Fulton Hogan staff, and CNE did not see any need to conduct more regular checks because the site had a low-risk level.

CTU urges appeal

The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Department of Labour to appeal the not guilty verdict.

CTU president Helen Kelly says Charanpreet Dhaliwal had an insufficient induction and should have been checked more frequently.

"The family are incredibly upset. They really believe that New Zealand is shonky. What happened to Charanpreet - they would never have let him work on that night if they'd known the circumstances, and are very, very devastated wit the whole affair."

Ms Kelly says the CTU is considering whether it can take a personal grievance against the company to the Employment Relations Authority.