A principal contractor and a subcontractor have been fined a total of nearly $300,000 after a worker was seriously injured, with a court ruling the former wasn't entitled to rely on the latter to implement agreed safety measures.
An employer has been fined $650,000 after a worker died in a 12-metre fall from a platform that was completely unsuitable for purpose, making the fall almost inevitable. Meanwhile, a head contractor has entered a $175,000 safety undertaking after a worker was impaled on an obviously hazardous bar.
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Three employers including a repeat offender have been charged with safety breaches, after the deaths of a confined space worker and a backpacker. The latest development in the backpacker's case coincides with two Federal Court rulings on the employment status of workers at the site where she was killed.
A supervisor directed a subcontractor to perform a task that resulted in the contractor breaching its own safe work method statement and seriously injured a worker, a judge has found. He ordered the supervisor's company to pay $145,000 in fines and costs over a risk it later eliminated with a $792 investment.
Three employers have been fined a total of more than $300,000 for height and access breaches, including in one case that shows a simple slip can have a devastating impact on workers and expose duty holders to prosecution.
A major WHS audit, prompted by two scissor lift fatalities and a coronial inquest, has warned that introducing mobile plant to "reduce risk factors" can "present new ones", and outlined safety factors to consider when using elevating work platforms.
A worker who failed to tell his supervisor the area he was directed to work in was wet, before he slipped and fell two metres, was not contributorily negligent because he felt he had to comply with his orders, an appeals court has found.