Prosecutions

Developer fined for multiple safety breaches

A Melbourne developer that repeatedly failed to address safety issues at a Doncaster building site has been convicted and ordered to pay fines totalling $75,000.

Pacific Land Consolidated Pty Ltd, which did not attend the hearing at Ringwood Magistrates' Court on 11 August, was convicted of 16 breaches of the OHS Act, 2004.

The company was convicted and fined:  

  • a total of $21,000 for seven charges of failing to ensure the workplace was safe and without risk to health;
  • $12,000 for two charges of failing to produce documents; and
  • $6000 for one charge of refusing or failing to comply with a requirement to produce documents to an inspector.

It was also fined a further combined $36,000 for six charges of failing to comply with improvement notices issued. 

The court heard that between April 2018 and February 2019, WorkSafe inspectors visited the townhouse development a total of 12 times, identifying a number of health and safety risks and issuing 18 improvement notices.

The company failed to comply with eight of those notices and failed on seven occasions to control the risks associated with working at heights above two metres. 

WorkSafe Acting Executive Director of Health and Safety Andrew Keen said the case showed a shocking disregard for workplace health and safety. "The number of safety breaches at this workplace is just staggering and the company's failure to address many of the issues shows a complete disregard for workers' health and safety," Mr Keen said.
Read more: WorkSafe media release

Smallgoods manufacturer fined $30,000

In June 2019 an employee of RN Brand, a company trading as Alpine Smallgoods which produces and manufactures smallgoods such as sausages and kranskys, fell while unloading boxes from a delivery truck and suffered a fractured skull, multiple fractured ribs and a fractured spine. He spent more than a month in hospital.

He and other employees had placed two stacks of five pallets each at the back of the truck as a platform to stand on in order to unload the truck’s contents.

A WorkSafe investigation found the company could have eliminated or reduced any risks to workers during the unloading of trucks by using a platform with perimeter guarding. The company pleaded guilty and was without conviction fined $30,000 plus costs of $3,164.

WorkSafe Acting Executive Director of Health and Safety Andrew Keen said the idea of standing on stacked pallets to unload boxes was obviously flawed. "Falls from height remain one of the biggest killers of workers in Victoria and you don’t have to fall a great distance to suffer serious injuries, or worse," Mr Keen said. Read more: WorkSafe media release 

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

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