Prosecutions

Victoria: $15k fine after 6 metre fall increased on appeal 

Chloch Homes & Development Pty Ltd, was the principal contractor for a domestic building site in Mount Waverley. It engaged Tyan Construction Pty Ltd to carry out carpentry works at the site. Tyan in turn brought on sub-contractors to do the work. On 23 October 2018, a sub-contractor was installing pre-fabricated roof trusses on the roof over the first floor of one of the units near an unprotected stair void. He fell about six metres through the stair void onto the basement concrete floor below.

The investigation found that it would have been reasonably practicable for Chloch Homes to reduce or eliminate the risk to someone working near the unprotected stair void by providing fall protection for the void and by providing site supervision at the workplace. The company was initially fined $15,000 but this was increased to $25,000 after an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions. Read more: WorkSafe media release

To find out more details, and to keep up to date with new prosecutions, check WorkSafe Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage.

NSW: $200k fine for dangerous demolition advice

An engineering company has been fined $200,000 following the dangerous and unplanned collapse of the former Sydney Entertainment Centre’s roof during demolition.

Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson said Grasso Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd and its Director, Ignazio Grasso, provided inadequate advice to the high-risk demolition project, and by doing so failed to comply with their duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.   “Construction and demolition workers rely on the advice provided by engineers for their safety,” Mr Anderson said.  “The risks could have been minimised, if not eliminated, with proper analysis, planning and communication by the Engineer.”

Prior to giving the demolition advice, Mr Grasso failed to undertake relevant calculations or computer modelling to assess the risk of unplanned structural collapse of the roof, instead relying solely on fallible engineering judgment. Once the demolition work began, the roof unexpectedly collapsed, crushing an excavator and trapping a worker inside.

“SafeWork will not hesitate to take legal action against those who don’t comply with work health and safety laws. Everyone has the right to return home to their families at the end of the day, and those who cut corners will be prosecuted,” Mr Anderson said. Source: SafeWork NSW media release

EDIT: in June 2021 the judgment referred to in the article was overturned by the NSW Criminal Court of Appeal. See this decision for more information

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