Skip links and keyboard navigation

Queensland Government site header

Details of successful prosecution against E193181 - Company

Incident description

An employee of the company (a qualified builder with experience in working at heights) fell from the roof of a building being demolished while removing roofing sheets.

He had taken part in a toolbox talk that morning and was told to wear a harness. A harness was available, but was not worn. However, the static line used was not appropriate for the purpose.

Although experienced, the worker had not undertaken work at heights training and lacked qualification to undertake the work. In any event, the hazard could have been eliminated by the demolition work being conducted from the ground without workers removing the roofing sheets at height.

Court result

The defendant pleaded guilty in the Sandgate Magistrates Court on 16 November 2015 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 Paul Kluck fined the defendant $20 000 and ordered professional costs totaling $1500.

No conviction was recorded.

In reaching a decision, the magistrate acknowledged that the defendant failed to comply with s.32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

In deciding the penalty, Magistrate Kluck took into account that the defendant had not been prosecuted previously for any work health and safety breach and was a smaller family company. The defendant had also 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 working at height, 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
  • monitoring the effectiveness of the control measures to ensure they remain working correctly.

When deciding and implementing control measures associated fall from height, duty holders should consider Part 3.1 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and the Managing the risk of falls at workplaces code of practice 2011 (PDF, 2367.08 KB) .

Details

Industry:
Construction
Defendant:
E193181 - C
Date of offence:
13/01/2014
Injury:
Broken wrist, fractured hip and rib, collapsed lung, concussion
Court
Sandgate Magistrates Court
Magistrate:
Mr Paul Kluck
Legislation:
s.32 of the duty under s.27(1) Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Decision date:
16/11/2015
Penalty:
$20 000
Maximum Penalty:
$1 500 000
Conviction recorded:
No
CIS event number:
E193181 - C
Last updated
02 July 2018

We'd love your feedback

Codes of Practice are now an enforceable standard to manage hazards and risks

A Work Health and Safety inspector may refer to an approved code of practice when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice.

Read more...

Updated work safety codes of practice enforceable from 1 July 2018

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

How to help prevent the spread of infection at work and answers to common workers' compensation questions.

Read more...

How to help prevent the spread of infection at work and answers to common workers' compensation questions