10 Mar 2015

IHC fined over teenager's death

5:17 pm on 10 March 2015

IHC's service delivery arm Idea Services pleaded guilty in Palmerston North District Council today to a charge of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure no action or inaction of an employee harmed another person.

Idea Services was ordered to pay over $153,500 following the death of 15-year-old Nathan Booker, who drowned in a bath at a respite care home.

Nathan had multiple disabilities and received respite care at Idea Services' Woburn facility.

He drowned after being left unattended in the bath on 10 January 2014.

WorkSafe New Zealand chief inspector Keith Stewart said if Nathan had been fully supervised and not left alone during his bath, his death was unlikely to have occurred.

"Simply he shouldn't have been left alone in the bath. It should really serve as a wake-up call to the residential care sector, to make sure they fully assess and manage the risks of services."

Mr Stewart said WorkSafe accepted residential care was a difficult sector, but that that reinforced the need to make systems and procedures strong.