Houseboat manufacturer fined over $61K ater worker suffers severe spinal injuries

Heights_NZ

A houseboat manufacturer in Moama has been fined $61,500 after a worker suffered severe spinal injuries when he fell onto concrete while working on a roof.

The incident happened in 2015 where the man fell nearly three metres onto a compressor before then falling onto a concrete floor. He undertook roofing work without a safety harness.

“This poor man fractured five ribs, punctured a lung and fractured two vertebrae in an incident that still causes him pain more than two years on,” said Minister for Better Regulation, Matt Kean.

Mr. Kean noted that the incident could have been avoided if the right equipment and training have been in place. He also said the company failed to notify SafeWork about the incident.

A SafeWork investigation revealed a lack of systems, policies or procedures for working from heights that exposed workers to serious injury or death.

“Employers need to realise they cannot get away with behaviour that puts their workers at risk of this sort of serious injury – it’s just not on,” said Mr. Kean.

The court result comes as SafeWork NSW continues its year-long safety blitz on construction sites to ensure workers are properly protected.

Thirty-two offenders were prosecuted in 2016 and issued 130 penalty notices.

The company was given 28 days to lodge an appeal.

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