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Prosecution Details

Offender Crothers Construction Pty Ltd (ACN 084 751 511)


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Charge Charge Number Offence Date Date Convicted Regulation Section Penalty Provision Penalty Imposed Date Sentenced
1 GN2452/11 20 January 2009 15th February 2012 3.55(1)(a) 1.16(2)(b)(i) $5,000.00 15th February 2012
Description of Breach(es)

Being a person who had control of the workplace, did not ensure that edge protection that complied with Regulation 3.55(5) of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 was provided and kept in place when there was a risk that a person could fall 2 or more metres from the edge or a suspended slab at the workplace; contrary to regulation 3.55(1)(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 made under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

In Geraldton on Tuesday 20 January 2009 the Accused was the builder constructing a row of two storey units.  A labourer worked for the Accused at the site.

The labourer cleaned the first floor of one of the units. The floor was between 2.5 metres and 3 metres in height from the ground floor concrete slab. 

While cleaning the labourer heard a compactor being used outside the building.  He walked over to the edge of the first floor to look at the compactor.  The edge of the first floor was only guarded by a single hand rail attached to the inner face of the opening.  There was not a lower guard rail.  The bottom edge was one course of bricks above the floor.  The labourer leant against the handrail and it gave way.  He fell to his knees, lost his balance and fell over the edge onto the ground below.

Earlier that day the Accused's Safety Officer had identified during a safety audit that there was only one handrail at the edge.

The labourer was taken to Royal Perth Hospital where he was diagnosed as suffering from a fractured pelvis.

After the accident the scaffolding company that was engaged by the Accussed installed the lower guard rail.

The Code of Practice Prevention of Falls at Workplaces published by WorkSafe was in place at the time.  The Code was available from WorkSafe's website and library.  The Code specifies the legal requirements for edge protection. 

On 23 June 2006 and 10 June 2008 WorkSafe had previously issued the Accused with two Prohibition notices prohibiting it from carrying out work until the required edge protection was in place. The Accused was also issued with an Improvement notice on 10 June 2008 in relation to edge protection.

Outcome Summary

The Accused entered a late plea of guilty and was convicted.

Court Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Joondalup
Costs $2388.70

Search the records of all successful prosecutions taken by WorkSafe under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 since 1st January 2005. Searching and indexing of this database is limited to convictions for offences against the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 committed on or after 1 January 2005, when the statutory offence and penalty regimes were significantly amended.

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