The defendant held duties under ss. 466(1) and 464(3) of the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulation 2011.
The business included residential, commercial demolition and asbestos disposal.
On or about 22 October 2015 the defendant commenced work removing a roof which contained asbestos. He failed to give written notice to Work Health and Safety Queensland at least five days before licenced asbestos removal work commenced, contravening section 466(1) of the WHS Regulation 2011.
Between 1 October and 24 October 2015 he failed to provide a copy of the asbestos removal control plan, breaching s.464(3) of the WHS Regulation 2011.
The defendant pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 23 March 2017 to breaching sections 466(1) and 464(3) of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011, having failed to meet its work health and safety duties and was sentenced.
Magistrate Previtera fined the defendant $1500 for both offences and ordered professional and court costs totaling $592.90. The court made an order that no conviction be recorded.
Although this infraction is procedural in nature, the regulatory process is important to enable the regulator to monitor asbestos works with greater precision.
In determining penalty the Magistrate Tina Previtera took into account that the defendant undertook the work at the last minute after the roofing contractor indicated he did not work with asbestos. The defendant had provided evidence of payment being made to an experienced third party to prepare a generic form of control plan, but accepted it was inadequate and not site specific.
Magistrate Previtera noted the defendant had no previous convictions and had attempted to comply with his duties but fell short. The defendant co-operated with the investigation and entered an early plea of guilty and so was fined with the order that no conviction recorded.
Considerations for prevention
(commentary under this heading is not part of the court's decision)
When working in the asbestos disposal industry where there is exposure to risks from resulting ACM contamination, duty holders should apply a risk management approach to ensure the selection of suitable control measures.
Risk management involves identifying the hazards, evaluating the consequences and likelihood of harm that may result from the hazard, deciding and implementing control measures to prevent or minimise the level of the risk from the hazard and monitoring the effectiveness of the control measures to ensure they remain working correctly.
When deciding and implementing control measures associated with removing roofs that contain asbestos, obligation holders must comply with WHS Queensland's regulations.
Visit the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland website for information on:
- Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011
- How to safely remove asbestos code of practice 2021 (PDF, 2.22 MB)
- Demolition work code of practice 2021 (PDF, 0.66 MB)
- Date of offence:
- Brisbane Magistrates Court
- Tina Previtera
- ss.466(1) & 464(3) Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011
- Decision date:
- $1 500 global penalty
- Maximum Penalty:
- $3 600 for each breach
- Conviction recorded:
- CIS event number: