Canberra asbestos safety incident leads to $60k fine


A Canberra earthmoving company has been fined $60,000 by the ACT Industrial Court for a workplace safety lapse during the botched demolition of a Mr. Fluffy house in August 2015.

The breach resulted in an uncontrolled release of dust due to insufficient water suppression which impacted workers, including a WorkSafe ACT inspector.

On Monday, 6 November 2017, the company pleaded guilty to failing to provide a safe working environment by failing to ensure adequate water suppression before the demolition began and effective methods of communication between excavator operators and ground workers.

The company was convicted and fined $80,000 by the Industrial Magistrate, which was reduced to $60,000 taking into consideration the early guilty plea.

Access Canberra A/g Deputy Director-General David Snowden welcomed the ruling.

“This outcome sends a clear message to the construction sector that dangerous and unsafe work practices are not accepted,” he said.

“It is the second successful court outcome within a month following an investigation by Access Canberra.

“Access Canberra and WorkSafe ACT continue to ensure safety in our community and construction sector through engagement, education, and enforcement where appropriate and we will continue this concerted focus.”

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