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Prosecution Details

Offender James Dodds
Trading Name Jaws Flooring


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Charge Charge Number Offence Date Date Convicted Regulation Section Penalty Provision Penalty Imposed Date Sentenced
1 PE23161/15 20 August 2012 14th August 2015 3A(2)(a)(i) $5,000.00 14th August 2015
Description of Breach(es)

Where under labout hire arrangement work was carried out for remuneration by workers for the Accused who was a client of a labour hire agent, in the course of the accused's trade or business, in relation to matters over which the accused had the capacity to exercise control the accused failed to so far as practicable to provide and maintain a working environment in which a worker was not exposed to hazards and by that failure contravened sections 23F, 19(1) and 19A(3) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

James DODDS trading as Jaws Flooring carries out residential flooring work with the assistance of self- employed persons and labour hire apprentices.

The victim was an apprentice carpenter on labour hire agreement between James DODDS and Housing industry Association limited. He had been working with James DODDS for approximately 6 months.

The incident occurred at 66 Tibradden Circle Ascot which is a residential dwelling.

That address is a workplace pursuant to section 3 of the OSH Act as it is a place where employees or self-employed persons work or are likely to be in the course of work.

The scope of work was to construct a floating timber floor. The construction of the floating timber floor required reducing the width of the final floorboards to be laid adjacent to the walls. This is commonly known in the industry as ripping.

A table saw was used to rip the floorboards. A table saw is an electric saw fitted to the underside of a table with the saw blade protruding through a gap in the table. This particular table saw was a Triton Saw table which comes with a guard to be fitted on top of the table.

James DODDS did not install the guard on the table saw because it restricted the ability to cut the boards on a curve.

On 20thAugust 2012, the victim was shown how to use the rip saw table by a leading hand who subcontracted to James DODDS. The victim was shown to push the floor boards through until he got to ¾ of the way down the board and then to turn the board around to cut the last quarter so that he did not get close to the blade.

The victim was laying the last part of floorboards in the hallway of the worksite. This required 4 or 5 boards to be cut down (ripped) to size.

The victim had ripped one of the floorboards to ¾ along its length when the board started to bounce on the saw table.

The floorboard was 120mm x 6mm and the victim was ripping 30mm off the width of the board which was 1200mm long.

The victim put his right hand on top of the board to stop the board from bouncing.

The saw bit down on the wood and pulled his right hand into the saw blade resulting in lacerations to the thumb, index and middle fingers of his right hand and tendon damage.

The hazard is common knowledge in the construction industry.

Employees that were exposed to that hazard were at risk of suffering serious injuries such as loss of finger/s or permanent loss of use.

It was practicable for the Accused to have used a jig saw to cut in the boards.

There was no cost to the accused as he already had jig saws on site.

Outcome Summary

The Accused entered a guilty plea and was convicted. The Magistrate fined the Accused $5,000 and ordered costs of $792.00

Court Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Perth
Costs $792.00

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