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Details of successful prosecution against E174993

Incident description

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

It operated a glazing work and manufacturing business. A worker was assisting with the unloading of a container of glass shower screens when 37 sheets of glass (each weighing approximately 20 kg) fell from a height of approximately 1200 mm, trapping him. The glass had been delivered in crates in a container. A number of crates were unloaded by forklift earlier, however the forklift operator was unable to continue and left. A decision was made to unload the remainder of the glass manually.

There was no alternative plan to unload the glass from the container without the forklift operation. The method of work involving manual removal of stacked sheets was inadequate.

Court result

The defendant pleaded guilty in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on 5 August 2014 to breaching s.32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, having failed to meet its work health and safety duties and was sentenced.

Magistrate Mr John Hodgins fined the defendant $45 000 and ordered legal and court costs totaling $1079.40.  No conviction was recorded.

In reaching a decision the Magistrate acknowledged the defendant failed to implement an alternative system (a ’Plan B‘) in the event the forklift could not remove the crates of glass. Work should have stopped so that a preferred and safer method could be adopted.

He fined the defendant $45 000 and ordered legal and court costs totaling $1079.40.  No conviction was recorded.

Considerations for prevention

(commentary under this heading is not part of the court’s decision)

When working in the glass handling/manufacturing industry where there is exposure to risks from unsecured glass panels, duty holders should consider a combination of engineering and administrative controls as relying one system may not be effective.

Details

Industry:
Manufacturing
Defendant:
E174993
Date of offence:
03/11/2012
Injury:
No injury
Court
Maroochydore Magistrates Court
Magistrate:
Mr John Hodgins
Legislation:
s.32 of the duty under s.19 Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Decision date:
05/08/2014
Penalty:
$45 000
Maximum Penalty:
$1 500 000
Conviction recorded:
No
CIS event number:
E174993
Last updated
02 July 2018

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