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Incidents and Accidents

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

FALL FROM HEIGHT - COMPANY FINED OVER TEENAGERS DEATH ON WORKSITE

A construction company has been fined $38,000 (and ordered to pay $8054 in costs) over an incident in 2017 in which 17-year-old Wesley Ballantine died after he fell through a void in the roof of an internal atrium at the old GPO building in Forrest Place, Perth.


Valmont (WA) Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that persons who were not their employees were not exposed to hazards, and was fined in the Perth Magistrates Court today.


Mr Ballantine died after falling 12m through a skylight at the GPO building in Forrest Place, Perth. Valmont WA was the main contractor for stage one of the project and was charged with failing to ensure a person who was not their employee was not exposed to hazards.

Industrial Construction Services has been charged with failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment which led to Wesley’s death. The company’s director Adam Tony Forsyth and manager Luke Fraser Corderoy, have also been charged over the Wesley’s death.


Valmont WA faced court and following the charges, were fined $38,000 and costs of $8,054. The other three parties have been charged and will face court at a later date.


NEW SOUTH WALES

CONVICTION – FALL FROM HEIGHT FATALITY

Sydney builder Truslan Constructions has been fined $450,000 following the death of an experienced carpenter, with a court finding the company showed a “blatant disregard for the safety of workers”.


The worker, who had 25 years’ experience as a carpenter, was working on a Level 2 deck. The deck perimeter was protected by a permanent scaffold but there were significant gaps left between the edge of the deck and the scaffold (Note: The maximum allowable gap is 225mm). There were no handrails protecting the gaps.


Mr Da Silva was laying plywood on the partially-constructed deck when he fell down more than three metres onto a metal starter bar with a yellow bar cap that was protruding from the floor below. He was fatally injured.

VICTORIA

COMPANY, DIRECTOR FINED $116,250 FOR BULLYING

A Melbourne director and his security company have been convicted and fined a total of $116,250 for repeatedly bullying employees in the workplace.


John Bernard Moncrieff and Monjon (Australia) Pty Ltd were sentenced in the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court on Friday after pleading guilty to one charge each of failing to provide a working environment that was, as far as reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.


Moncrieff was fined $19,250 and Monjon a further $97,000.The court heard that WorkSafe was called to the company’s Cheltenham office following an incident on October 23, 2015, in which Moncrieff pushed an employee along a corridor in front of other workers.


In a second incident Moncrieff refused to allow an employee to leave the office until she assured him she would not resign following the first incident. WorkSafe’s investigation found that between April 2015 and August 2016, Moncrieff led a culture of entrenched bullying at the company.


The court heard this included Moncrieff speaking to employees in an aggressive and intimidating manner by raising his voice, swearing, and using sexist and racist language to describe his employees.


He also made sexually suggestive comments towards employees, threatened to withhold pay and take away their security licenses, made inappropriate contact with them, and encouraged a culture of managers speaking aggressively to employees.


Contact Elliott Safety if you need advice on your policies and/or training.

MORE INFO LINK: https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/news/2019-09/director-company-fined-116250-abusing-staff


SHOPFITTING COMPANY CONVICTED AND FINED $300,000 AFTER FALL FATALITY

A shopfitting company has been convicted and fined $300,000 for failing to implement fall protection measures and failing to implement an exclusion zone around the edge of the unguarded mezzanine to protect workers from fall risks. An employee died when he fell more than two metres from the unguarded mezzanine floor at a worksite at Maidstone in Melbourne’s west.


Entire Shopfitting Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Melbourne County Court to failing to provide or maintain systems of work that were safe, and failing to prepare a Safe Work Method Statement before starting high-risk construction work. Company Director John Paul Kenneally also pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to take reasonable care. He was fined $30,000 without conviction.


Two employees were directed to the mezzanine level of the worksite to start framing works on an extension for a new indoor children’s play centre. One of the employees placed a stepladder near the edge of the mezzanine where no guarding had been put in place after the balustrade was removed.


When the worker climbed the ladder, one leg of the ladder went through a cut-out in the floor, tipping the employee over the edge of the mezzanine and onto the ground below. He suffered serious injuries in the fall and was transported to hospital where he later died.

MORE INFO LINK:

https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/news/2019-05/company-director-fined-after-fall-death


QUEENSLAND

WORKER ELECTROCUTED WHEN MOBILE CRANE HITS OVERHEAD POWERLINES


In Mulgrave in North Queensland a worker lost his life and two others ended up in hospital when a crane came into contact with overhead powerlines. One worker was electrocuted, another suffered serious injuries and a third required hospital treatment.

MORE INFO LINKS:

https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/news/2019/tragic-reminder-of-dangers-of-working-near-powerlines

www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/injury-prevention-safety/alerts/whsq/2019/tower-crane-hoist-rope-failure

NEW ZEALAND

AUCKLAND SCAFFOLDING COMPANY FINED $150,000 FOR COLLAPSED SCAFFOLD



The Auckland District Court has recently fined a scaffolding company $150,000 after a poorly designed scaffold collapsed while seven people were working on it.


The Company, Affordable Scaffolding, was sentenced following the February 2017 incident involving a scaffold erected under the Panmure Bridge in Auckland. The scaffold collapsed while seven workers were completing maintenance work on the bridge. Six workers fell into the water and another was trapped on the scaffolding. No-one was seriously injured.


A WorkSafe investigation found the collapse occurred due to overloading. It found Affordable Scaffolding (2010) Limited failed to ensure scaffolding was designed safely and load calculations and design drawings were not reviewed by an engineer prior to the scaffold being built.


COMPANY FINED AFTER WORKER FATALLY INJURED BY STEEL BEAM

The Christchurch District Court has recently fined a structural steel work company $250,000 after a heavy steel beam fatally injured a worker.


In the incident a worker was moving steel beams from work trolleys using a crane. A beam destabilised, causing it to tip and fall toward the worker. The beam struck the worker across their left arm, the side of their torso, their neck and their head, causing fatal injuries.