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Business and supervisor fined $55,000 following worker’s seven metre rooftop plunge


1 February 2023

A roofing business and one of its supervisors have been fined a collective $55,000 after a worker was seriously injured falling through a roof onto a concrete floor.

The roofing company was fined $50,000, and its supervisor fined $5,000 for failing to prevent the worker from being exposed to the risk of death or serious injury.

The matter was heard in the Richlands Magistrates Court under Magistrate Stuart Shearer where both defendant parties pleaded guilty to breaches of theWork Health and Safety Act 2011.

The court heard that on 28 September 2020, the worker sustained a serious injury after he fell nearly seven metres from the roof of a warehouse. His injuries included multiple pelvis fractures, compressed vertebrae, fractured wrists, head lacerations and perforations to the spleen and bowels.

Magistrate Shearer specifically noted it was fortunate the worker hadn’t died as a direct result of the fall and said the business and the supervisor contributed to the incident.

On the day of the fall, the site supervisor for the roofing company, was performing induction training to workers at a warehouse. Two workers were positioned on the ground with another on the roof; they needed to use a crane to hoist sheets to the roof for installation.

The injured worker was tasked to work from the roof where he stepped onto an area covered in sarking [1] . He fell through this and landed on the concrete floor.

The court heard the investigation into the incident revealed appropriate control measures were not in place to prevent the worker from falling from height. Magistrate Shearer expressed that barriers or nets should have been installed and that these types of measures would not have been onerous.

In sentencing, Magistrate Shearer considered the shared culpability of the supervisor and the business, and how both parties contributed to the seriousness of the fall and the subsequent severe nature of the workers’ injuries.

His Honour remarked that the work undertaken by the injured worker posed an obvious and foreseeable risk of serious injury or death, and that insufficient attention had been given to ensure processes were followed on the day.

A fine of $50,000 was imposed to the roofing company, including $601 in costs, with no conviction being recorded. A fine of $5,000 was imposed to the defendant, including $601 in costs with no conviction recorded.

Work health and safety prosecution summaries in Queensland are published at

[1] Sarking is a construction material usually fixed over the rafters of a roof before tiles or slates are laid.

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