Worksafe undertakes review of Talley’s following dozens of health & safety failures

WorkSafe staff are planning to take a close look at how Talley’s is meeting its obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA). The company operates across the seafood, agriculture, and chilled desert food production areas.

It grows vegatables, has a fleet of fishing vessels, produces ice cream and is well known to WorkSafe.

“WorkSafe has taken a number of enforcement actions over individual incidents over a number of years,” says Worksafe’s Phil Parkes.

“We are concerned that where health and safety issues continue to arise in a company or a group of companies, this may indicate there are systemic issues that need to be addressed in the boardroom.

“HSWA places clear health and safety obligations on all levels of businesses from the boardroom to the production line so WorkSafe will be looking at every aspect of the Talley’s group’s health and safety performance and we will liaise with other regulatory agencies as appropriate. 

“Our approach with Talley’s is not an investigation, nor is it linked to an individual incident. 

“While obligations exist throughout a business, leaders have the obligation and the influence to create healthy and safe workplaces and focusing on the duties of officers under HSWA is a priority approach for WorkSafe.”

Talley’s CEO Tony Hazlett says his company takes staff’s health and safety seriously.

“The WorkSafe review into our company’s operations has started this week and we welcome this process. Independent workplace investigator Bush International Consulting is also two weeks into the specific allegations made earlier in July about [health and safety issues at] the company’s Ashburton factory.

“We are confident in our health and safety systems. However, if there are additional improvements to be made, then we will willingly make them.”

Prosecutions at Talley’s:

01/01/2018 to 02/07/2021; two for Talley’s Group Limited; one for Affco New Zealand Limited. One current prosecution for Affco New Zealand Limited. 

Table 1. Notifications Related to Talley’s Group from: 01/01/2018 – 01/07/2021

Notification type2018201920202021Total
H&S Concern – Concern about Unsafe Conditions  132116
Notification of Concern about Unsafe Conditions 82  10
Confirmed Workplace Fatality   1 1
Notification of Notifiable Incident 1188734
Notification of Notifiable Injury or Illness 2421251383
Total43443621144

Table 2. Non-Prosecution Enforcements Issued to Talley’s Group from: 01/01/2018 – 01/07/2021

Enforcement Type2018201920202021Total
Directive Letter6 1 7
HSWA Improvement notice 1435 22
HSWA Non-Disturbance Notice   1 1
HSWA Prohibition notice   2 2
Recommend HSWA Prosecution    11
Sustained Compliance Letter 6 2 8
Verbal Direction 1 1 2
Total27312143