The defendant held duties under s.446 (1) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 being a person conducting a painting business.
On 16 September, 2016 he sub-contracted the cleaning of a roof prior to painting. The sub- contractor used a high pressure cleaner to clean the roof, resulting in a slurry of asbestos containing material being dispersed around the workplace and surrounding properties.
On 6 June, 2018 the defendant pleaded guilty in the Townsville Magistrates Court to breaching s.446(1) of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011, having failed to meet its work health and safety duties and was sentenced.
Magistrate Scott Luxton fined the defendant $1000 and ordered professional and court costs totalling $1092.00. The court ordered that no conviction be recorded.
In reaching a decision, the Magistrate acknowledged that while the defendant did not instruct the subcontractor to use the high pressure water sprayer on the roof, he recognised that the fine should reflect that the person in control of the business holds responsibilities to ensure the work was completed safely.
In deciding penalty, his Honour took into account the defendant had not been prosecuted previously for any work health and safety breach, co-operated with the investigation and entered an early plea of guilty.
Considerations for prevention
(commentary under this heading is not part of the court's decision)
When working in the construction industry where there is exposure to risks from asbestos containing material becoming airborne, duty holders should consider the following:
- Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011
- How to manage and control asbestos in the workplace Code of Practice 2021 (PDF, 0.99 MB)
- Date of offence:
- Townsville Magistrates Court
- Magistrate Scott Luxton
- Duty under s446(1) of Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011
- Decision date:
- Maximum Penalty:
- Conviction recorded:
- CIS event number: