|Offender||KEP Management Services Pty Ltd (ACN 074 110 393)|
|Trading Name||t/a Phillips Engineering|
|Charge||Charge Number||Offence Date||Date Convicted||Regulation||Section||Penalty Provision||Penalty Imposed||Date Sentenced|
|1||FR460/13||19-20 September 2011||6th February 2013||6.2(3)||1.16(2)(b)(i)||$10,000.00 (Global)||6th February 2013|
|2||FR461/13||19-20 September 2011||6th February 2013||6.2(3)||1.16(2)(b)(i)||$10,000.00 (Global)||6th February 2013|
|Description of Breach(es)||
Charge 1 - Being an employer at a workplace, allowed another person to do high risk work of a particular class (namely, dogging work), when that person did not hold a high risk work licence for that class of work, contrary to regulation 6.2(3) of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.
Charge 2 - Being an employer at a workplace, allowed another person to do high risk work of a particular class (namely, dogging work), when that person did not hold a high risk work licence for that class of work, contrary to regulation 6.2(3) of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.
The Accused is a corporation that, trading as Phillips Engineering, carries on the business of steel fabrication for the mining and off-shore industries from premises including a main workshop and yard at 5 Egmont Road, Henderson (No. 5) and a second workshop and yard at 19 Egmont Road, Henderson (No. 19; together, Workplace).
To move steel items around the Workplace the Accused operates several overhead cranes within the workshops and two mobile cranes in the yards. The use of these cranes is a common and usual part of the Accused's operations.
As at 19 and 20 September 2011, the Accused's employees at the Workplace, included:
(a) a 16-year-old first-year apprentice boilermaker;
(b) a crane operator;
(c) the general manager;
(d) the workshop supervisor at No. 5; and
(e) the workshop supervisor at No. 19.
The probation period of the first year apprentice's apprenticeship ran from January to July 2011. During this time, he was taught how to perform dogging work by the crane operator.
‘Dogging work' is defined in clause 4 of Schedule 6.3 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 1996 (Regulations) to mean:
The crane operator showed the apprentice how to apply slinging techniques in chaining up a load for the purposes of lifting the load with a mobile crane. This instruction included one full day during which the apprentice would first attempt to sling a load, and the crane operator would then check that he had slung it correctly.
The crane operator also showed the apprentice how to direct him in the movement of the load, including instruction to use the palms of his hand and to keep his fingers out of the way.
Prior to 19 September 2011, the apprentice did similar dogging work for the crane operator on a number of occasions both during and subsequent to his probation period.
The general manager and both workshop supervisors were all aware that the apprentice was doing this dogging work. The Director of the accused had also seen the apprentice at least directing loads for the crane operator in the mobile crane.
After lunch on 19 September 2011, the crane operator, at the suggestion of the No. 5 workshop supervisor asked the apprentice to do some dogging work to shift some steel at No. 19. The No. 19 workshop supervisor instructed the crane operator and the apprentice as to what needed to be done.
Shifting the steel was part of the work for the extension of the workshop at No. 19, which had been ordered by the accused's director.
The crane operator was operating the mobile crane owned by the Accused. The apprentice would direct the crane to the piles of steel using hand signals that the crane operator had previously taught him. He would then sling the load. The crane operator was watching from the crane and would tell him if he wanted him to sling it differently.
Once the crane operator was happy with the sling, he would nod his head and the apprentice would move out of the way. The crane operator would lift the load to around the apprentice's chest height. The apprentice would then guide the load to the area to which it was to be moved. This task continued until the end of the day.
The next day, 20 September 2011, the crane operator and the apprentice resumed moving the steel, which included items of various lengths and sizes, such as steel beams, channels and pipes. The two workshop supervisors were again aware of this work being done by the apprentice and the crane operator.
At one point during the morning of 20 September 2011, the apprentice was off site. While he was away, a trades assistant assisted the crane operator to move the steel. However, all the dogging work was done by the crane operator himself during this time. The apprentice then returned and the work proceeded as it had previously.
At approximately 10:45 a.m., the crane operator directed the apprentice to sling the three steel beams, one about 5 to 6 metres long, and the other two about 8 metres long; which he did. Observing from the cab of the crane, the crane operator was satisfied that the apprentice had slung the beams correctly and so proceeded to lift the beams.
After being transported, the beams were to be placed atop timber gluts. The first year apprentice put the timbers on top of the steel beams to take them to the destination and then guided the entire load there, holding the middle beam that was protruding out the end of the load.
The crane operator stopped the crane and the apprentice went to lift down the gluts for the beams to sit on. The crane operator glanced down to engage the air brakes on the crane when he felt a jolt. It is not clear what caused this jolt.
At that time the apprentice had his right hand on top of one of the beams, ready to lift down one of the timber gluts. The jolt resulted in one of the beams rolling inwards, trapping the apprentice's hand between the beams. As a result, the apprentice suffered amputation of his right index and middle fingers to around the middle knuckles.
High risk work licences
The Accused has been unable to identify anyone at the Workplace who held a Dogging Licence as at 19 or 20 September 2011. The apprentice could not have held a Dogging Licence, as he was under 18.
The Accused had previously employed licensed doggers at the Workplace until approximately April 2011, when they all left due to a downturn in work.
The crane operator who was operating the crane when the apprentice was injured held high risk work licences of classes C2 (crane and hoist operation, mobile crane, basic) and WP (crane and hoist operation, boom-type elevating work platform), neither of which covered dogging work.
When the crane operator first obtained his crane licence, dogging work was covered by that qualification. That has not been the case since approximately 1988.
Despite not holding a Dogging Licence, the crane operator would assist in the dogging or rigging for more ‘complex' lifts at the Workplace.
The No. 19 workshop supervisor held no licence in high risk work of any class. When there was dogging work required for the overhead cranes in the workshop at No. 19, he would do that work himself or arrange for it to be done by the crane operator.
Although the No. 5 workshop supervisor had experience in dogging work for overhead and mobile cranes, considered himself competent to do such work, and had in fact performed dogging work at the Workplace, he had never held a Dogging Licence. He would seek the assistance of the crane operator for ‘complex' lifts.
In a voluntary record of interview (ROI) the accused's director stated that he was not aware whether either of the workshop supervisors held a Dogging Licence.
As at 19 and 20 September 2011 the Accused had not confirmed that anybody at the Workplace held a Dogging Licence.
The job descriptions of the workshop supervisors included the responsibility of ensuring that workshop personnel were suitably qualified. However, in his ROI the accused's director stated that he was in fact not sure whose responsibility this was.
Measures subsequent to 20 September 2011
On 22 September 2011, a WorkSafe Inspector issued an Improvement Notice to the Accused that required any person doing dogging work at the Workplace to hold a Dogging Licence in compliance with regulation 6.2 of the Regulations.
Within a week of the issue of this notice, the Accused engaged a new employee who held a licence for a number of classes of high risk work, including advanced rigging, which also covers dogging work.
The new employee now performs any dogging work required for the use of the mobile cranes at the Workplace.
The director has now personally instructed all supervisors that dogging work must be done only by a person holding a Dogging Licence.
The accused entered a guilty plea to both charges and was convicted.
|Court||Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Fremantle|
Please note that the charges have a global fine. While a penalty is imposed on each charge it is for the global fine and not a separate amount for each charge.
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