Prosecutions

Victorian Prosecutions

No new results of prosecutions were put on the WorkSafe site this week - but to check over the next week, go to the WorkSafe Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage.

UK:Suspended sentence after son's fatal factory fall
In a particularly tragic case, a UK scaffolding firm owner was given a suspended sentence after his son suffered fatal injuries in a fall through a fragile roof. Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how on 19 September 2015, at the Norton Aluminium foundry site in Staffordshire, Stephen Brennan was fatally injured after falling approximately 11.5 metres through the roof. The 26-year-old was working with his brother Kieran and their father, company owner Stephen John Brennan, on the corrugated asbestos cement roof. They were in the process of moving and fitting temporary scaffold guardrails as part of a larger roof refurbishment project at the site.

An investigation by UK regulator Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the owner, trading as SB Scaffolding, failed to ensure the health and safety of his employees. The investigation also found that Sandwell Roofing Limited, the contractor in overall control of the roof refurbishment project, failed to ensure that people not in its employment were not exposed to risks arising from work on the fragile roof. Stephen John Brennan, 57, was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for two years, 180 hours of unpaid community service and ordered to pay costs of £14,000 (A$25,600). Sandwell Roofing Limited pleaded guilty to a criminal safety offence and was fined £41,125 (A$75,200) and ordered to pay £33,000 (A$60,300) costs. Stephen John Brennan's lawyer said: "His family life has been ripped apart by grief." 
Read more: HSE news release. Express and Star. Source: Risks 902

NZ: Port operating company fined over $500K over worker's death 
A port operating company in New Zealand was sentenced and fined $506,048 at the Wellington District Court last week following an incident in January 2017 in which a worker was killed when he fell at the company's container assessment and repair facility. The worker was using a ladder to access the roof and undertake repairs on a 2.9-metre-high container, when he fell and hit his head on the concrete below.

At a disputed facts hearing in February this year, the judge found the worker had died as a result of CentrePort Limited's "failure to develop and implement a safe system of work for repairs of containers."

WorkSafe's Head of Specialist Interventions Simon Humphries said that the incident was foreseeable and avoidable. "There were numerous health and safety failings made by CentrePort that led to the worker's death," he said. "The Port had developed safe working procedures but failed to ensure that these procedures were implemented where the victim was working. WorkSafe also found that ladders were not being tied off and those that were in use were in poor repair, and there was no auditing to ensure that they were safe and appropriate for use. Further, there was no edge or fall protection in place to protect workers."

In addition to the fine, reparation of $150,952 was ordered, in addition to sums of $124,554 already paid. Costs of $36,425 were ordered.  
Read more: WorkSafe NZ media release

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