12:32 pm, Monday 8 July, 2013
A company director and two companies have been fined due to a worker’s serious fall injuries in Western Sydney.
The companies and a company director were fined a total of $147,000 and ordered to pay WorkCover’s legal costs after a worker fell at a residential building worksite.
In December 2009, the 22-year-old electrician was working inside a townhouse when he fell through an opening on the first floor. He suffered severe head injuries including multiple brain haemorrhages, a fractured left collarbone and several spinal fractures.
A WorkCover investigation found that the open stairwell opening at the townhouse had no fall protection.
The companies and the director all pleaded guilty.
WorkCover NSW’s acting General Manager of Work Health and Safety Division, Peter Dunphy, said any fall through the stairwell opening was likely to be serious and the risk should have been better managed.
“There was a clear lack of safety in this instance. Had there been adequate safety measures in place to stop someone from accidentally falling through this opening, these serious injuries would probably never have happened.
“It’s even more serious that these safety measures are very simple. There was no fall protection, that is, there was no handrail, void platform or other kind of barrier. This is an important reminder of the need to maintain proper safety protocols.
“These companies did not do this and as a consequence a young man has been very seriously injured,” said Mr Dunphy.
The companies will work with WorkCover to avoid the same mistakes from happening again.