Prosecutions

Company charged over chemical stockpiles in Campbellfield

Last week WorkSafe has charged Bradbury Industrial Services Pty Ltd over alleged breaches of the Dangerous Goods Act for chemical stockpiles at a Campbellfield warehouse. The stockpile was uncovered during Environment Protection Authority and WorkSafe investigations into the storage of chemicals in Melbourne's northern suburbs in January 2019.

The company, which is now in liquidation, is facing seven offences under sections 31 (1) and section 45 of the OHS Act.

WorkSafe alleges that Bradbury failed to: 

  • take all reasonable precautions to prevent fire or explosion of dangerous goods at the site;
  • reduce, so far as was reasonably practicable, the risk of dangerous goods leaking from intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) that were bulging, had loose top screw caps, or were partially collapsed;
  • notify WorkSafe of the presence of an excess quantity of dangerous goods at the site;
  • request the advice of the relevant emergency services authority in relation to the design of a fire protection system for the premises (having exceeded the regulated fire protection quantity of dangerous goods);and
  • have a written emergency plan.

It is further alleged the company breached regulations relating to placarding and keeping a prescribed manifest.

WorkSafe issued improvement notices requiring the site to be made safe, which were complied with. The matter is listed for a filing mention in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 26 February, 2020. Source: WorkSafe media release

Construction company fined $125k for failure to comply with notices

Mainline Developments Pty Ltd is a company specialising in the development of small and large scale residential construction projects. In January 2018 it was constructing 28 double story and 3 single story townhouses in Narre Warren.

Between 15 January 2018 and 15 March 2018 WorkSafe Inspectors attended the workplace six times and observed numerous and repeated breaches including:

  • works on the first floor, balconies and roof of townhouses with no controls in place to prevent falling off the live edges
  • scaffolding with missing planks
  • trucks accessing the workplace and unloading without a traffic management plan in place
  • tripping hazards re excess debris on site and general rubbish in access areas
  • poor housekeeping including open trenches, unhygienic toilet facilities without water or toilet paper, no meals area or facilities for employees
  • no safe system of work regarding electrical safety
  • no SWMS in place to address the risk of employees working at height, near energised electrical installations and near mobile plant

On various dates numerous Improvement Notices were issued to the company to address the breaches - however it repeatedly failed to comply by the due dates regarding most notices. By 5 April 2018 all notices were deemed complied with.

The offender pleaded guilty and was with conviction sentenced to pay individual fines for each offence totaling $125,000.

Plumber fined $15k after worker falls through skylight

Sole trader Andrew Frank Lowrie, trading as A.F.L. Plumbing was engaged to perform roofing works, including installation of approximately 70 skylights over a pool house, at a residential construction site in Ivanhoe.

On 14 November 2018, two employees were installing insulation paper on some of the skylights - they had already installed four or five papers that morning. One employee had his feet on either side of the skylight gap, whilst leaning over to nail down the paper. The other employee was looking at the road when he heard a noise, turned around and saw the employee fall head first through the skylight. The employee landed on his head, shoulders and back. The employee suffered serious head injuries and was taken to hospital, where he remained for six weeks.

WorkSafe inspectors attended and observed that there was no fall protection or guarding in place for the skylights, or around the roof. Measurements of the unprotected skylight edge to the ground revealed a 3.3 metre drop.

Lowrie pleaded guilty for failing to provide fall protection underneath or guarding around the skylight, and perimeter guarding on the roof. The Court sentenced him, without conviction, to pay a fine of $15,000 plus WorkSafe's costs of $3,505.

 

To find our more details, including the details of the EUs, and to keep up to date with new prosecutions, check WorkSafe Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage.

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