Solar company fined after worker’s deadly fall
On 30 November 2018 a 21 year old worker was killed after he fell from a roof. On that day employees of Solar 2.0 were installing 14 solar panels to the pergola roof of a residential property at Kennington. Access to the roof was via an extension ladder placed against a timber veranda with a polycarbonate roof. At about 12.30pm two of the workers were leaving the roof via the ladder. While one was going down, he turned and saw the second worker fall before hitting the concrete ground. Emergency services attended the workplace and he was taken to hospital where he later died from complications arising from head injuries.
WorkSafe investigations found:
- The extension ladder was not fixed at the bottom;
- Where it touched the guttering of the pergola, an item known as a 'gutter guard' was in place;
- No fall protection system was in place for work on the roof; and
- The company failed to implement a Safe Work Method Statement for the high risk construction work
Solar 2.0 Pty Ltd was charged with two breaches of section 21(1) of the OHS Act for failing to maintain a working environment that was safe and without risks to health. The company pleaded guilty and was with conviction fined $30,000 plus $14,197 in costs. The Court declared that, but for the plea of guilty, the fine would have been $50,000.
Both the actual fine and the potential one seem extremely paltry in light of the fact that a very young worker was killed due to an employer's actions.
To find our more details, and to keep up to date with new prosecutions, check WorkSafe Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage.