A building company in Victoria has been fined $52,000 without conviction for failing to protect workers from fall risks.
The company pleaded guilty in the Geelong Magistrates Court to four contraventions of section 21 of the OHS Act for failing to provide a safe working environment to workers.
A WorkSafe inspector observed three apprentices work near the edge of a four-metre high double storey house without handrails or other fall protection in place in February last year.
During that time, the site supervisor had not had any formal training in relation to occupational health and safety and supervising housing construction sites.
Another safety inspector found further health and safety risks at another building site three months later when he noticed wall frames being put up without external fall protections. Workers also work from incomplete and unsafe scaffolding, which was missing braces, toe boards, and handrails.
“Falls are a leading cause of death and serious injury at housing construction sites, and both the risks and the measures that should be used to control them, are well known,” said WorkSafe Head of Hazardous Industries and Industry Practice Michael Coffey.
“It is very lucky that no one was injured, or worse killed at either of these sites.
“WorkSafe will not hesitate to take enforcement action when we see clear safety breaches and we can and do prosecute.”