By NZISM Secretary
Kia ora koutou to all members and supporters of NZISM,
I’m sure that, like me, you have all been following the Aimex case and subsequent proceedings culminating in the sentencing of William and Stephen Sullivan at the end of July 2023. This case has been particularly interesting as it is one of the first cases that has proceeded through to criminal sentencing for individuals with jail time, and the outcome of this does set a precedent in terms of case law, noting that these were in the capacity of making a false statement and perverting the course of justice respectively.
The case highlights a number of key factors, the most obvious being:
 … it was your inactivity, your absolute dereliction of your duty as a health and safety officer which has led to an entirely preventable incident. Mr Palmer has been damaged for the rest of his life because you took the view that you would not abide by your obligations as a health and safety officer, for what reasons I do not know.
Again, this is an extremely painful reminder of exactly how important our profession is to the people around us, our staff, our colleagues, our clients, and our friends. It is equally important to note that this case is not reflective of all health and safety professionals. The vast majority of our health and safety community are doing the right thing to support the minimisation of harm at work across Aotearoa New Zealand. What we can do, is make sure we are well informed about our roles and responsibilities in our workplaces and reach out to our NZISM colleagues and other health and safety professionals when we need support.
The following resources may assist your understanding of the case:
Thank you for joining the Women in Safety Excellence (WISE) network.
We hold various online and face-to-face events throughout the year and if one occurs near you, we would love to meet you in person.
LinkedIn - Please make sure you join our LinkedIn group to stay connected and on top of our planned webinars and events. We encourage you to post anything in the WISE group page that you think other network members would find useful or inspiring. Please don't be shy. The more we reach out, the more we connect with each other, and the more we can help each other on our journeys.
We might send you the occasional email but our web page on the NZISM website is always the best place to go for an overview of what's coming up in the WISE calendar.
Margaret van Schaik