An employer that failed to act on a series of safety warning signs has been fined $250,000, after a worker inadvertently activated the controls on an elevated work platform (EWP) and was crushed to death.
An individual has become the second entity to be fined over the deaths of two workers in a smoko area, while a safety commission has identified six potentially common contraventions relating to the development and use of safe work method statements.
Two employers have been fined a total of $180,000 after a worker died falling 11 metres thorough a skylight, while a company has been handed a second round of fines for asbestos and document-request breaches, just five months after it and its two directors were fined $605,000 under environment laws.
Three employers, including two repeat offenders, have been fined for safety breaches involving mobile plant, with two of the cases showing that regulators will target duty holders even where workers haven't been harmed.
A company director should have foreseen a life-threatening crush incident because he was seriously injured in a similar incident 20 years earlier, a court has found. It also stressed that the director had a positive obligation to familiarise himself with all relevant safety regulations.
An employer's duty to provide a safe system of work extends to maintaining and enforcing such a system, including where an alternative system creates a foreseeable risk of injury of any severity, an appeals court has found in upholding an injured worker's $1.4 million award.
A superior court has rejected claims that a local council's $30,000 safety fine was manifestly inadequate, but the case should encourage employers to weed out rogue supervisors and ensure safety directives are followed.