|Offender||Sin-Aus-Nanga Bay Pty Ltd (ACN 096738733)|
|Charge||Charge Number||Offence Date||Date Convicted||Regulation||Section||Penalty Provision||Penalty Imposed||Date Sentenced|
|1||SB97/2010||Between 28/2/2008 & 13/4/2009||7th May 2012||19(1) 19A(3)||3A(2)(b)(i)||$2,000.00||7th May 2012|
|Description of Breach(es)||
Being an employer, failed so far as was practicable to provide and maintain a working environment in which the employees of the employer were not exposed to hazards; contrary to sections 19(1) and 19A(3) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.
The accused is a corporation that operates Nanga Bay Resort located on Nanga Road in Shark Bay, located approximately 53 km from Denham. Nanga Bay Resort offers accommodation and caravan sites and has a restaurant, kiosk, swimming pool and spa facilities. At all relevant times the accused employee several persons to work at the Nanga Bay Resort carrying out tasks such as reception, cooking, cleaning, housekeeping, laundry services, maintenance, gardening and landscaping. In the course of their work, some of the employees are required to use portable or hand held electrical equipment from time to time.
For a considerable period of time it has been well recognised in all industries that electricity is a major hazard in the workplace and that electrocutions, sometimes fatal, occur in the workplace, often due to faulty electrical equipment that has become live or contact with worn and damaged wiring and switches.
Residual Current Devices are electrical safety devices specially designed to immediately switch the electricity off when electricity "leaking" to earth is detected at a level harmful to a person using electrical equipment. An RCD offers a high level of personal protection from electric shock and fuses or over current circuit breakers do not offer the same level of personal protection against faults involving current flow to earth. Analyses of electrical accidents has shown that the greatest risk of electric shock results from contact between live parts and earth. RCDs are designed to operate within 10 to 50 milliseconds and to disconnect the electricity supply when they sense harmful leakage, typically 30 milliamps. The sensitivity and speed of disconnection are such that any earth leakage will be detected and automatically switched off before it can cause injury or damage. An RCD can be fixed to the electrical switchboard in order to provide protection of the complete electrical circuit in the workplace or it can be fixed into each individual fixed socket unit in the workplace.
The Nanga Bay Resort did not have an RCD installed at the electrical switchboard. It did have RCDs installed at some of the fixed socket units in the workplace, however, other parts of the workplace, and in particular the workshop in which employees frequently used a number of different electrical appliances, did not have non-portable RCDs installed at any of the sockets. There was one portable RCD located in the workshop that could be attached to any of the fixed sockets before an electrical appliance was plugged in, however there was no system of work in place requiring employees to use the portable RCD at all times and a number of the employees were not even aware of the existence of this equipment.
On 11 October 2007 the accused had been issued Improvement Notice 2300088, which related to the lack of residual current devices in the workshop located within the Resort. Pursuant to this notice, the accused was required to install non-portable RCDs in the workshop by 28 February 2008. Despite having this specific knowledge of the need for RCDs at the workplace, the accused failed to ensure that an appropriate system of work was in place and enforced at the workplace in order to prevent employees being exposed to the hazard of electrocution in the event of faulty equipment. Further, although there was a local electrician available who could have carried out the work of installing RCDs within a few days for minimal cost, RCDs were not installed until 13 April 2009. Luckily, no accident occurred prior to this time.
The Accused entered a guilty plea and was convicted.
|Court||Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Perth|
|Costs||Combined with 16 charges|
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