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Details of successful prosecution against E169964 - Individual

Incident description

The defendant held duties under s.19 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 being an individual conducting a business or undertaking.

The defendant’s business involved metal roofing work. He was contracted by a metal roofing contractor to undertake work involving the replacement of roofing on the Centro Toombul Shopping Centre. The work area included an existing unprotected skylight comprising four smaller skylights.

A worker fell 9.2 metres through the unprotected skylight, sustaining injuries. The skylight was identified as a hazard but no measures put in place to physically isolate or guard it. The injured worker was a first year plumbing apprentice and sustained broken bones, fractured eye socket, fractured vertebrae and a compressed spinal disk.

Court result

The defendant pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 4 September 2014 to breaching s. 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, having failed to meet his work health and safety duties and was sentenced.

Magistrate Mr Christopher Callaghan fined the defendant $15 000 and ordered professional costs of $750.  He also made a s.239 order that the defendant not offend against the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for a period of two years, with a recognizance in the sum of $15 000 to be forfeited if convicted of an offence within this period. No conviction was recorded.

In reaching a decision, the Magistrate acknowledged the defendant failed to take measures to prevent the fall from height. The matter resulted in serious injuries with long lasting impacts.

In deciding penalty, Magistrate Callaghan 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 of fall from heights, duty holders should implement control measures associated with the risk of falls from heights.


Date of offence:
Fractured skull, fractured vertebrae, broken right femur, broken left arm and damaged nerves in left arm.
Brisbane Magistrates Court
Mr Christopher Callaghan
s.32 of the duty under s.19 of Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Decision date:
$15 000 and a 2 year court ordered undertaking per s.239 recognizance in the amount of $15 000
Maximum Penalty:
$300 000
Conviction recorded:
CIS event number:
Last updated
02 July 2018

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