Prosecutions

Kentucky Fried Chicken operator fined $10k after teenagers scalded

Mylora Holdings Pty Ltd, owner and operator of a small number of Kentucky Fried Chicken retail fast food outlets including that in Plenty Road, Bundoora, has been fined over an incident in November 2017.

Two seventeen year old employees both received scald burns to their body when hot water and steam spilt out of the “Collectramatic pressure cooker” they were cleaning. They had filled the cooker with water, added soap and closed the lid.  At some point it was turned on and left on for approximately half an hour – when they noticed this, one of switched it off at the main power point. One then tried to release the pressure by manually releasing a valve on the lid, but when this happened the lid popped open, causing water and steam to flow out of the cooker onto both workers. They were taken to the Austin Hospital where their burns were treated and dressed. They were discharged on the same day.

The young workers had not followed the correct procedure for cleaning the cooker - however the employer had failed to provide an adequate and regular system of supervision for the safe cleaning operation of the cookers. The company pleaded guilty, and was fined $10,000 (and $3,000 in costs), without conviction. 

Carpentry company fined $10k after sub-contractor falls ten metres

Tynan Construction Pty Ltd, specialising in residential carpentry works, was engaged by Chloch Homes & Developments to undertake works at a domestic building site in Mount Waverley. Chloch engaged the offender to undertake carpentry works at the site. Tynan in turn engaged sub-contractors to perform 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 approximately six metres through the stair void onto the basement concrete floor below. There was no information provided on the extent of the worker's injuries. 

There was a risk of falling through the void, which the company could have reduced or eliminated by ensuring that work on the roof trusses was not done near the stairwell void until fall protection was in place.

Tynan pleaded guilty and was without conviction, fined $10,000 plus costs of $2,500.

More fines after Mt Waverly collapse

An engineering company was last week convicted and fined $250,000 after the collapse of a pit on a Mt Waverley construction site in 2015 which led to the evacuation of nearby residents.

The sole director of the firm, Ranjan Fernando, was also convicted and fined $60,000. Mr Fernando and Ranjan Fernando Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd were found guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court in January of one count each of failing to ensure persons other than employees were not exposed to risks to health and safety.

The court heard that in February 2015 the company certified structural drawings for a mixed commercial and residential development to be built on the site, including plans for the construction of a two-level underground carpark. The plans failed to include an appropriate retention system for the excavation, however.

Excavation works for the basement had just been completed in July 2015 when a collapse occurred after heavy rain, leaving two adjacent townhouses teetering on the edge of the 10m-deep hole. Tenants living in the properties were forced to evacuate and find alternative housing.

The structural engineering firm which drew up the plans for the excavation and its director were separately convicted and fined a total of $240,000 after pleading guilty to workplace safety breaches in 2018.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said the collapse could have had catastrophic consequences for workers or for members of the public in the immediate vicinity. "Thankfully no one was on site at the time of the collapse and the homes that had to be evacuated didn't fall into the pit," Ms Nielsen said. "But it's clear this company and its director should have been aware both of the risk of collapse and the safety measures that would eliminate or reduce that risk."
Source: WorkSafe Victoria media release

To check for more prosecutions before the next edition,  go to WorkSafe Victoria's Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage. 

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