BOSS GUILTY: $60K FINE FOR APPRENTICE BULLYING

A director at a Tullamarine glass company, Melbourne Glass Solutions, has been fined $60,000 for subjecting two apprentices to bullying, involving physical violence and verbal abuse.

The court heard that the director engaged in physical violence, verbal insults, threats, and intimidation towards the apprentices from March 2019 to May 2021. One apprentice worked at the company for approximately two years, during which time he endured verbal insults, dismissal threats, and was barred from attending TAFE courses.

Furthermore, the apprentice was physically harmed, notably at the 2020 Christmas party where he was taped shirtless to a crane and slapped by the company director. This incident was partially recorded and circulated on social media, leading to mental health struggles for the apprentice, including anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

A WorkSafe investigation revealed Melbourne Glass Solutions' failure to implement adequate policies against workplace bullying, contributing to the situation. This case underscores the vulnerability of inexperienced workers who are often hesitant to report such incidents in the workplace.

WorkSafe have stressed the importance of establishing clear standards, policies, and procedures to prevent, address, and report workplace bullying. They recommended routine workplace assessments to identify bullying signs and increased risks.

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