On the 3rd June 2017 a young girl lost her life in a road catchpit in Favona, South Auckland, the second catchpit death in New Zealand following the death of a man in 2012 in a car park in Wellington. Auckland Council has no appetite for risks that compromise the health, safety, and wellbeing of, or cause harm to staff, customers or the community (Auckland Council Risk Management Framework).
Following this tragic death, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport undertook a review into safety at catchpits. The review is a natural progression of the Council’s well-developed hazard and risk assessment programme.
The completed review provided a holistic approach considering all risks, and importantly that risk is not unacceptably increased to decrease another. It assessed public and operational safety risk – identifying factors influencing other key risks such as missing or dislodged catchpits, surface water catchpit hazards, societal risk factors and hazards to operational staff when maintaining catchpits.
Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are implementing recommendations from the catchpit safety review. Sharing the lessons from this tragic incident is a critical step to help our communities across New Zealand having to live through a similar event in the future.