28/02/2019 - 15:21

Govt agency, contractor fined over worker death

28/02/2019 - 15:21

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State government agency VenuesWest and contractor Perth Aluminum Scaffolds have each been fined $90,000 over the death of a worker who fell through a skylight in the roof of HBF Stadium in Mt Claremont.

The incident occurred during construction work at HBF Stadium in June 2016.

State government agency VenuesWest and contractor Perth Aluminum Scaffolds have each been fined $90,000 over the death of a worker who fell through a skylight in the roof of HBF Stadium in Mt Claremont.

VenuesWest pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that persons at the workplace were not exposed to hazards, and Perth Almuminum Scaffolds pleaded guilty to failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment.

Each party was fined $90,000 in Perth Magistrates Court and were both also ordered to pay $2,100 in costs.

In June 2016, VenuesWest contracted a painting company to undertake external painting work on HBF Stadium.

This company in turn subcontracted Perth Aluminium Scaffolds to erect and remove scaffolding on the stadium roof.

Four Perth Aluminium Scaffolds employees were dismantling scaffolding when one of them stepped on a skylight and fell about 11 metres to the concrete concourse below.

The court heard that the scaffolders working on the roof had not been provided with a site-specific safety induction, a job safety analysis or safe work method statement specific to the work they were doing that day.

They had also not been provided with information identifying the skylights as a hazard, or even identifying the skylights at all.

No rails or barriers had been placed around the skylights, and they were not fitted with safety mesh.

WorkSafe WA commissioner Darren Kavanagh said the case was a tragic reminder of the hazard presented by brittle or fragile sections of roofs.

“This case illustrates the crucial importance of having safe systems in place when undertaking work on a roof area,” Mr Kavanagh said.

“Perth Aluminium Scaffolds had a clear duty of care under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to protect the workers on the roof from accessing a fragile or brittle area.

“The court heard that very little was done to provide a safe workplace for these workers, and the result was absolutely devastating for the family, friends and workmates of the worker who lost his life.

“I hope this case will serve as a warning to anyone who is in charge of a workplace that includes brittle or fragile roofing or any other fall risk to be aware of all the laws involved and ensure they have suitable safe work procedures in place.”

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