Employers Are Finding Workplace Health And Safety
Difficult To Manage – But Thats No Excuse
A Melbourne developer has repeatedly failed to address Workplace Health And Safety issues at a Doncaster building site.
Pacific Land Consolidated Pty Ltd was convicted of 16 breaches of the occupational health and safety act. They have been ordered to pay fines totalling $75,000.
The convictions are as follows
- Seven charges of failing to ensure the workplace was safe and without risk to health. Fined $21,000.
- Six charges of failing to comply with improvement notices. Fined $36,000.
- Two charges of failing to produce documents and convicted. Fined $12,000
- One charge of refusing or failing to comply with a requirement to produce documents to an inspector. Fined $6,000
The court heard that between April 2018 and February 2019, WorkSafe inspectors visited the townhouse development 12 times, identifying a number of health and safety risks and issuing 18 improvement notices.
The company failed to comply with eight of those notices and failed on seven occasions to control the risks associated with working at heights above two metres.
The Workplace Health And Safety Breaches included
- Workers using a makeshift work platform of trestles and aluminium planks while working on a first floor balcony, which had an unprotected edge.
- Sub-contactors working on the first floor roof accessing materials positioned about 50cm from the unprotected roof edge.
- A plumber working on the second floor roof with no falls protection in place.
- A sub-contactor installing roofing sheets on the first floor required to work near unprotected edges.
- Workers using stairs to access the second floor with no guardrails around the stairs or second floor landing.
A WorkSafe investigation was launched in February 2019, during which the company failed to comply with requirements to provide documents and information.
WorkSafe Acting Executive Director of Health and Safety Andrew Keen said the case showed a shocking disregard for workplace health and safety.
“The number of safety breaches at this workplace is just staggering and the company’s failure to address many of the issues shows a complete disregard for workers’ health and safety,” Mr Keen said.
“This case highlights that WorkSafe will not hesitate to take action, even when no incident has occurred, to ensure duty holders are doing everything they can to keep workers safe.”
To Prevent Falls from Height Employers can
- Eliminate the risk by doing all or some of the work on the ground or from a solid construction.
- Use a passive fall prevention device such as scaffolds, perimeter screens, guardrails, safety mesh or elevating work platforms.
- Use a positioning system, such as a travel-restraint system.
- Install a fall arrest system, such as a catch platform or safety nets.
- Use a fixed or portable ladder or implement administrative controls.
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