Company and director fined for safety lapses at Esperance worksite

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Photo: Activedia, Pixabay

A Western Australian company and its director have been fined a total of $327,500 in relation to serious injuries caused to a 17-year-old worker in Esperance two years ago.

The company was fined $225,000 in the Perth Magistrate Court on Friday for failure to meet their duty to provide a safe workplace and for failing to ensure the correct high-risk work license.

The company’s director was also fined a total of $102,500.

The court heard that on 18 May 2016, the builder was working to install a large steel shed on an Esperance farming property and the 17-year-old construction labourer had climbed a ladder without being provided a helmet.

The director was driving a telehandler and alighted while it was in operation. The vehicle moved causing a substantially sized steel truss to fall and strike the young worker producing a fall and severe injury to his skull, jaw, shoulder, and chest.

The court found the employee, who was only a child at the time, did not have a construction induction training certificate – white card and had not been trained to perform the role which was performed without safety as a consideration.

The Acting Deputy Director General Safety Regulation Group, Andrew Chaplyn said the case shows that the occupational safety laws must be applied so that Western Australian’s go home safely from work.

“This young man has been left with life-long consequences because of the safety failures of his employer,” Mr. Chaplyn said.

“Our safety laws require all concerned to pay attention to training, protective equipment, and a safe systems approach to reduce the exposure to risks that continue to have devastating consequences for many.

“These fines represent a warning to ensure predictable and well-known hazards and risks are identified and controlled.”

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