Prosecutions

Cleaner seriously injured: MCC gets slap on wrist

In a puzzling and disappointing decision, the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), the body corporate that has management and control of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), was last week not convicted or fined, but ordered to pay costs of just $5,412 following an incident in which one of the contract cleaners suffered serious injuries when a delivery van reversed and knocked him over. The cleaner had been using a blower on the loading dock ramp, when a van entered, passed the cleaner, and parked at the bottom across a pedestrian crossing. The driver was then directed to reverse the van back up the loading dock ramp and off the pedestrian crossing. As the van reversed it collided with the cleaner, who suffered serious injuries including a double fracture of his pelvis.

The MCC pleaded guilty to breaching s26(1) of the OHS Act in that its traffic management system failed to reduce or eliminate the risk, so far as is reasonably practicable, of injury or death due to a collision between pedestrians and vehicles on the loading dock ramp. Despite this, it was not convicted but placed on an adjourned undertaking for a period of six months - with a 'special condition' that it make a charitable donation within two months to the Lighthouse Foundation in the sum of $50,000.   

Employer fined $35k for fall risk

Star (Australia) Construction Pty Ltd, trading as Knight Building Group, is a company involved in the design and construction of residential homes. Star engaged co-accused V&R Solid Plastering Pty Ltd to install polystyrene and plaster exterior walls. Star as the principal contractor had management and control of a workplace in Caulfield North where two double storey townhouses were being built.

On 10 November 2016, two V&R employees were observed working at height and near an unprotected veranda edge. There was a risk of falling from a height of 4.8 metres. In addition, there was an internal timber guard rail on the second floor around a circular opening which had no mid rail and excessive spacing between uprights, creating a risk of falling approximately 6 metres through the first floor and into the basement. Both of these posed a risk of serious injury or death to employees.

Star Construction pleaded guilty and was without conviction sentenced to pay a fine of $35,000 and to pay costs of $10,112.

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