Prosecutions

COMPANY FINED $600,000 FOLLOWING APPRENTICE'S DEATH

Road tanker manufacturer, Marshall Lethlean, has been convicted and fined $600,000 following the asphyxiation death of 20-year-old apprentice, Dillon Wu, who was working inside a tanker at its Cranbourne West factory in 2018.

The company was sentenced in the Melbourne Country Court today after earlier pleading guilty to a single charge of failing to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that the workplace was safe and without risk to health.

The court heard that in October 2018, the apprentice, who had been working at the factory less than two weeks, was asked to undertake work inside a tanker. The apprentice died of asphyxiation after entering the confined space of the tanker to conduct the work.

The previous day another worker had left a welder inside the tanker along with a wire feeder, which was in a state of disrepair and leaked argon gas overnight, reducing oxygen.

The court found it was reasonably practicable for the company to have provided and maintained a system of work that required a qualified welding inspector to routinely inspect and maintain equipment; require workers to store the welder and wire feeder outside the tanker when not in use; and require workers to turn off the argon gas main at the end of use.

Source: WorkSafe Victoria News, Friday 24 Jun 2022

You may find our webpage page helpful for more information on how to control risks associated working in confined spaces.

ST BASIL'S CHARGED AFTER DEADLY COVID-19 OUTBREAK

WorkSafe has charged St Basil's Homes For The Aged In Victoria with nine breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act following a deadly COVID-19 outbreak at its Fawkner residential aged care facility in 2020.

 WorkSafe alleges that in July 2020, after being notified by a worker that they had tested positive to COVID-19, St Basil's failed to:

  • Require workers to wear personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Train workers how to safely don and doff PPE
  • Verify that staff were competent in using PPE
  • Tell staff when PPE should be used
  • Supervise the use of PPE

Ninety-four residents and 94 staff members tested positive for COVID-19, with 45 residents subsequently dying from COVID-19 related complications.

St Basil's has been charged with multiple breaches of the OHS Act with the maximum penalty for each being 9000 penalty points ($1.49 million at the time of the alleged offence).

WorkSafe report there are several other investigations relating to the control of COVID-19 risks in workplaces which remain ongoing.

Source: WorkSafe Victoria News, Monday 04 July 2022

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