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Prosecution Details

Offender Matnic Enterprises Pty Ltd (ACN 120 816 033)


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Charge Charge Number Offence Date Date Convicted Regulation Section Penalty Provision Penalty Imposed Date Sentenced
1 PE44219/10 19 July 2007 9th June 2011 3A(3)(b)(i) $15,000.00 9th June 2011
Description of Breach(es)

The Accused being an employer, did not so far as practicable, provide and maintain a working environment in which its employees were not exposed to hazards and by that failure caused its employee serious harm and contravened sections 19(1) and 19A(2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984

Background Details

The Accused was a company with a sole director and carried on a painting business under the name Matrics Painting. 

The Accused was contracted by a builder to undertake painting works at the premises located at 69 Lake Street, Northbridge WA and attended the premises on 19 July 2007 to perform painting works. 

On 19 July 2007 an employee of the accused was instructed by the director of the accused to help him paint cornices.  The cornices were 5.63 metres above ground level. 

The Director and the Employee used an aluminium mobile scaffold which was supplied by the Builder, to reach the cornices which the Builder required to be painted. 

The Director climbed down from the scaffold leaving the employee on top of the scaffold.  The Director moved the scaffold whilst the employee was still on top of the scaffold and during this process the scaffold toppled over.   The cause of the scaffold toppling over is unknown.  The Employee fell with the scaffold as it toppled over and as a result hit the ground.  He did not fall from the scaffold in its upright position.  As a result of the fall the employee received serious and permanent injuries including fractures to the left and right lower legs. 

Moving the scaffold with a person on it was inherently dangerous as it relied heavily on the person moving the scaffold somehow counteracting any over balancing forces.  The code of Practice AS/NZS4576:1995 - Guidelines for scaffolding states "Do not release the wheel locks or relocate the scaffold unless the scaffold is unoccupied and all other items have been secured against falling"

The Accused did not and it was practicable for the Accused to have instructed its employees not to stand on mobile scaffolding when it was being moved; and or not moved scaffolding when a person was standing on it.

Outcome Summary

The Accused entered a late guilty plea.

Court Magistrate's Court of Western Australia - Perth
Costs $1628.00

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