The board of trustees at New Zealand’s Orewa College was slugged with two separate reparation bills of NZ$81,000 and NZ $55,729 over a boiler explosion at the school in 2009, which resulted in one caretaker’s death and another’s serious injury.
“Unfortunately, the Orewa College Board of Trustees did not ensure the school’s boiler facilities were repaired, modified and maintained in a safe and effective manner,” said Department of Labour (DoL) Northern Region Manager John Howard. He said the death was preventable.
The DoL, the New Zealand School Trustees Association and the Ministry of Education have been working together on a boiler safety program and viewed the incident as a widespread risk since 40 percent of the nearly 2500 schools in New Zealand use boilers for heating.
The program includes annual independent inspections, a regular maintenance contract and making sure boiler operators are trained, said Howard.