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Prosecution Details

Offender Charles Roy Farmer


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Charge Charge Number Offence Date Date Convicted Regulation Section Penalty Provision Penalty Imposed Date Sentenced
1 FR4879/2017 11 September 2015 26th June 2017 20A(2)(c) $7,500.00 26th June 2017
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employee, failed to take reasonable care to avoid adversely affecting the safety or health of any other person through any act or omission at work, and by that failure caused serious harm to a person; contrary to sections 20(1)(b) and 20A(2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

On 11 September 2015 the Accused was the operation manager for a roofing company and the workplace supervisor for all the roofing works being carried out at that time at a workplace at 378 Canning Hwy in Bicton (Workplace).

At the Workplace was an existing building previously used as a cheap food retail outlet. The age of the existing building was between 30-40 years old. The perimeter walls were built from brick and the structure of the roof comprised of steel beams covered over by metal roofing sheets.

On 11 September 2015 that building was in the process of being refurbished to serve as a Dan Murphy’s liquor outlet.

The roof of the building was divided into two sections. One being a saw tooth roof and the other being a portal frame roof construction. Located on the portal frame roof section were a number of fragile skylights.

The work activities being conducted on the roof of the building related to preparation work on the existing portal frame roof, involving placing a new roof over sheet cover onto the existing portal frame roof.

At approximately 7:00am on Friday 11 September 2015, all the roof workers had arrived at the workplace and met to discuss what work would be carried out on the day.

The Accused’s role as site supervisor included directing, overseeing and supervising the roofing work being carried out at the Workplace, including in respect of matters of risk assessment and occupational health and safety.

Two roof plumbers employed by the roofing company were working on the roof that day. Their task was to remove rusted metal roof sheets from the existing portal frame roof.

Two employees, a roof labourer and a roof plumber from another roofing company contracted by the roofing company employing the accused were also working at the workplace. The roof labourer and roof plumber were to continue on from the previous day’s activities, and clean up metal roof off cuts and roof insulation from the existing portal frame roof, that were spread all over the roof, including over and around the skylights.

Although the Accused had identified the skylights on the existing portal frame roof, he did not ensure that a safe working procedure was in place that required the workers on the roof that day to use a fall injury prevention system.

By the afternoon of 11 September 2015, work had been completed on the saw tooth roof section, and all four roof workers were engaged in work on the portal frame roof section.

By sometime between 1:00pm and 2:00pm, the two roof plumbers had removed a section of the existing portal frame roof, and the roof labourer and roof plumber were continuing with the clean-up of materials that had been scattered over the portal frame roof section and around the skylights.

Sometime between 1:00pm and 2:00pm, the roof labourer was standing on a loose insulation roll that had been placed next to the edge of a skylight.

The roof labourer was not aware of the skylight behind him and took a step. By the time he had realised what he had turned onto, he lost balance and fell through the skylight and approximate 5 metres from the existing portal frame roof to the concrete ground floor below.

The particular skylight involved in the accident was constructed from an acrylic moulded domed shaped material being at an approximate square dimension of 800mm x 800mm.

As a result of his fall, the roof labourer suffered the following injuries:

  1. Fractured right humerus (upper arm);
  2. Fractured right scapula (shoulder blade);
  3. Fractured right olecranon (elbow);
  4. Fractured right rib;
  5. Fractured right transverse process of vertebra L5;
  6. Fractured sacrum (base of spine);
  7. Multiple fractures of the pelvis;
  8. Pneumothorax and lung contusion;
  9. An adrenal gland haematoma; and
  10. A large laceration to the liver.

Without the swift medical intervention that the roof labourer received at Royal Perth Hospital that day, his injuries were likely to have resulted in lung failure, permanent liver damage or possibly even death.

Outcome Summary

The Accused entered a guilty plea and was convicted on the 26 June 2017.  The Magistrate fined the Accused $7500.00 and ordered costs of $517.00.

Court Magistrrates Court of Western Australia - Fremantle
Costs $517.00

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