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Prosecution Details

Offender Round Table Roofing Pty Ltd (ACN 143 727 691)


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Charge Charge Number Offence Date Date Convicted Regulation Section Penalty Provision Penalty Imposed Date Sentenced
1 FR4878/2017 11 September 2015 4th September 2017 3A(3)(b)(i) $70,000.00 4th September 2017
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer, failed so far as practicable to provide and maintain a working environment in which employees of the employer were not exposed to hazards, and by that failure caused serious harm to an employee; contrary to sections 19(1) and 19A(2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

The Accused was engaged by contract to carry out roofing work on behalf of Deslin Pty Ltd T/A Roofing 2000 at a construction site 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.

A roof labourer and a roof plumber were employees of the Accused and working on the roof on 11 September 2015. Their task was to clean up both sections of roof, including 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.

A roof plumbing supervisor and employee of the Accused was also at the Workplace on 11 September 2015. His role included overseeing the work being done by the roof labourer and the roof plumber.

Between 7:00am and 11:00am, the roof labourer and the roof plumber finished off the clean-up of materials on the saw tooth roof section.

At 11:00am the roof labourer and the roof plumber came down to the ground level for a ‘smoko’ break. Following their break, they were instructed by the supervisor to commence cleaning up on the portal frame roof.

Sometime between 1:00pm and 2:00pm, the roof labourer was standing on a pack of roofing sheets next to the edge of a skylight. He 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.

Prior to 11 September 2015, both the supervisor and a director of the Accused were aware of the skylights on the existing portal frame roof, and of the falls risk involved with carrying out the work on the existing portal frame roof.

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. 

Prior to the three months in which the roof labourer was employed by the Accused, he:

  1. had no working experience on a metal type roof (although he did have experience on tiled roofs in Italy); and
  2. had not received any training in working at heights in the construction industry.

The Accused failed to implement practicable control measures to prevent the roof labourer falling through a skylight, such as:

  1. ensuring that its employees used an appropriate fall injury prevention system whilst working on the roof at the Workplace; and

ensuring that such information, instruction and training had been provided to its employees as was necessary to enable them to perform their work in such a manner that their exposure to fall hazards was minimized.

Outcome Summary

The Accused entered a guilty plea and was convicted on 4 September 2017.  The Magistrate fined the accused an initial fine of $100,000 then with a reduction for early plea and other mitigating factors imposed a final fine of $70,000.   Costs of $1369.00 were also ordered. 

Court Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Fremantle
Costs $1369.00

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