Two jailed for health & safety cover-up

Two individuals sentenced to prison for concealing health and safety breaches


In 2021, Aimex Limited faced sentencing after an apprentice suffered a serious brain injury due to exposure to harmful solvents. However, it was later discovered that a similar incident had occurred a week prior and had been covered up. The New Zealand Police charged William and Steven Sullivan for their involvement in making false statements and perverting the course of justice. Aimex Limited was found to have failed in their health and safety obligations, including inadequate ventilation and lack of proper training and supervision. WorkSafe’s investigation revealed that key documents were destroyed to conceal the previous incident. Preventing harm should be a priority for businesses instead of covering it up. Worker safety must be protected, especially when dealing with hazardous substances.

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Full Article: Two individuals sentenced to prison for concealing health and safety breaches

Hidden Cover-Up: Aimex Limited Sentencing Reveals Attempted Concealment of Previous Incident

A shocking revelation has emerged following the recent sentencing of Aimex Limited, a New Zealand company whose apprentice suffered a serious brain injury. It has been discovered that there was a similar incident just a week prior, which had been concealed.

In July 2021, Aimex Limited was charged with health and safety failings that contributed to an incident where their apprentice was exposed to harmful vapors. The apprentice had been directed to clean an engine room using solvents in an inadequately ventilated space, resulting in a serious brain injury.

However, it has now been brought to light that a similar incident occurred just a week before the apprentice’s incident, but it was covered up. The New Zealand Police have since charged William Mansfield Trevor Sullivan for making a false statement and Steven Patrick John Sullivan for perverting the course of justice. William Sullivan was sentenced to nine months imprisonment on July 21, while Steven Sullivan received a 20-month prison sentence on July 25.

Failure to Implement Proper Safety Measures

WorkSafe, the regulatory authority responsible for workplace safety in New Zealand, conducted an investigation into the incident involving Aimex Limited. The investigation revealed that Aimex had failed to develop a safe system of work for dealing with hazardous substances. Additionally, they had neglected to properly supervise, train, and instruct their workers on working with such substances.

Even more concerning is the fact that WorkSafe was informed that a similar incident had occurred with a different worker just a week prior. Fortunately, the worker in that instance recognized the symptoms and managed to keep themselves safe. However, crucial documents related to the incident were deliberately destroyed in an attempt to cover it up, hindering WorkSafe’s ability to thoroughly investigate and substantiate the claim.

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“The deception meant the sentencing of Aimex was not carried out with a full understanding of their failings. WorkSafe informed the Police, who then prosecuted the two individuals involved,” says Dr. Catherine Gardner, the head of Specialist Interventions at WorkSafe.

Prioritizing Prevention over Cover-Up

Dr. Gardner emphasizes that businesses and organizations should prioritize preventing harm rather than attempting to conceal incidents. The exposure to harmful chemicals is a well-known risk that businesses and organizations are legally obligated to manage.

“Risks must be managed, and workers must be protected from this kind of harm,” states Dr. Gardner.


The incident involving Aimex Limited’s apprentice was not the first case of their negligence. In 2019, another worker from the company was exposed to a hazardous substance while cleaning a catamaran’s engine room. The worker suffered an anoxic brain injury due to toxic solvent exposure. WorkSafe was notified of the incident and conducted an investigation, resulting in Aimex Limited being charged and later pleading guilty on July 28, 2020. The company was ultimately sentenced on July 9, 2021.

For more information on the 2021 sentencing, you can visit the District Court website (external link)

Summary: Two individuals sentenced to prison for concealing health and safety breaches

A shocking incident involving an apprentice at Aimex Limited has come to light, revealing a cover-up of a near-miss accident just a week prior. The apprentice suffered a serious brain injury after being exposed to hazardous vapors in an inadequately ventilated engine room. Aimex Limited was charged for health and safety failures and sentenced accordingly. WorkSafe’s investigation revealed that Aimex had not implemented a safe system of work and failed to properly train and supervise its workers when dealing with hazardous substances. The cover-up of the previous incident led to legal action against two individuals involved. The incident highlights the importance of businesses prioritizing the prevention of harm rather than hiding it.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

FAQ: Two jailed for health & safety cover-up

Frequently Asked Questions: Two jailed for health & safety cover-up

Q1: What is the story about?

A1: The story highlights the case of two individuals who have been sentenced to jail for concealing health and safety hazards in their workplace.

Q2: Why were they jailed?

A2: The two individuals were jailed after an investigation revealed that they knowingly hid critical health and safety violations at their workplace, endangering the well-being of their employees.

Q3: What were the health and safety violations?

A3: The exact nature of the violations has not been mentioned in the article. However, it is stated that they were serious enough to warrant legal action and subsequent jail time for the responsible individuals.

Q4: Who conducted the investigation?

A4: The investigation was carried out by the relevant health and safety authority in the jurisdiction where the workplace is located.

Q5: How can such cover-ups be avoided in the future?

A5: To prevent similar cover-ups, it is crucial for organizations to foster a culture of transparency and accountability when it comes to health and safety. Regular inspections, whistleblower protection, and stringent penalties for non-compliance can also act as deterrents.

Q6: What are the consequences for the employees affected by these violations?

A6: The article does not provide specific information about the consequences faced by the employees. However, depending on the severity of the violations and subsequent actions taken by the authorities, affected employees may be entitled to compensation or legal recourse.

Q7: How should employees respond if they suspect health and safety violations in their workplace?

A7: If employees believe there are health and safety violations in their workplace, they should report their concerns to the appropriate authorities or the designated health and safety representative within the company. Whistleblower protection laws are in place to safeguard individuals who report such violations.

Q8: Are there any measures businesses can take to proactively address health and safety concerns?

A8: Absolutely! Businesses can ensure a proactive approach to health and safety by regularly conducting risk assessments, implementing robust safety policies and procedures, providing thorough training to employees, and fostering a culture of open communication regarding health and safety matters.

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