Security guard's death shouldn't be in vain - lawyer

1:46 pm on 23 October 2015

The lawyer for a man beaten to death just hours into his first shift guarding an Auckland building site says he should never have been in the situation which led to his death.

Charanpreet Dhaliwal, 22, was beaten to death in 2011.

A coroner's report released this morning has found Mr Dhaliwal was not adequately trained, was not checked on regularly, and should have had a radio telephone with a one-touch emergency button to call for help.

The lawyer for Mr Dhaliwal's family, Jeff Sissons, told Nine to Noon all his employer gave him was a high visibility vest, a set of keys, a brief chat and a business card with a number to call if there was trouble.

"Charanpreet was called at very short notice to undertake this shift. He had never undertaken this sort of work before and his employer didn't check his experience," he said.

"There was no reference checking to see could he undertake this work. He was given some very basic equipment."

Mr Sissons said the family had been pushing for a safer security industry since their son's death.

"So the challenge for us now is that these are recommendations from the coroner... What we need to do is work with the industry, and work with WorkSafe and the justice department and make sure these get implemented and not pushed into a drawer somewhere."

Mr Sissons said the last four years had been long and traumatic for Mr Dhaliwal's family.

Two years ago, a man was found not guilty of the murder or manslaughter of Mr Dhaliwal. He was found guilty of an assault.

Soon after, the company that hired Mr Dhaliwal on the night, CNE Security, was cleared by the Waitakere District Court of failing to provide a safe workplace.

Security association backs coroner's calls

An association of security companies, meanwhile, is backing the coroner's recommendations for more rigorous training and stricter standards for security guards.

Security Association director of training Stewart O'Reilly told Nine to Noon the association's members adhered to a code of practice and were already expected to provide those things.

But he said they were being undercut by small "man with a van" style firms.

"Where firms are looking to save money, they'll contract to the lowest bidder and these measures like welfare checks, like radio telephones, all those cost something and they add to the cost structure of the security industry."

The coroner's recommendations found a new code of practice was needed to ensure guards were trained properly before working alone.

Mr O'Reilly said his association would support the coroner's recommendations being implemented for the entire industry.

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