LACK OF COVIDSAFE PLAN RESULTS IN FINE FOR BUSINESS
In WorkSafe prosecution news this week, Keyun Enterprises Pty Ltd. trading as Comfy Kew Apartments was fined $5,000 by the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for failure to ensure that the workplace was safe and without risks to health by failing to have a COVID-19 Safe Plan in place.
In April 2020, the offender commenced to provide accommodation to several homeless people as part of the Victorian Government's pandemic response. During that time, the Department of Health and Human Services regularly updated its advice that a workplace is required to have a COVID-19 Safe Plan.
On 28 September 2020 several inspectors from WorkSafe attended the workplace and were informed by the General Manager that there was no COVID-19 Safe Plan in place. Additionally, inspectors observed:
- There was limited CovidSafe practices signage.
- There was no evidence of Covid Safe policies and other procedures limiting the risks or exposure to employees, independent contractors or patrons.
- No attempts at enforcement of mask wearing onsite.
- Room bookings remained open to the public and there was no sign in register for contractors and other people attending the site.
The court also took into consideration that the offender has no prior convictions and quickly complied and implemented a CovidSafe Plan after the inspection.
OWNER TURNED SUB-CONTRACTOR FINED $10,000
Bruno La Rosa, a residential dwelling owner, has been fined $10,000 and ordered to pay costs of $4,525 for falls/work at height offences after pleading guilty.
La Rosa appointed Seascape Constructions Pty Ltd as the builder for construction work in North Melbourne. In return, Seascape appointed him as the sub-contractor of the work and assigned him as the supervisor of the workplace, who can engage sub-contractors and direct how the work is performed.
On 16 April 2020, WorkSafe inspectors observed four workers completing roof works of a three-storey dwelling with a risk of a fall from a height of approximately 10 meters. La Rosa failed to ensure the workplace was reasonably without risk to health and safety, as there was no fall protection system in place.