|Offender||Stephen John Gregson|
|Trading Name||Gregson Construction|
|Charge||Charge Number||Offence Date||Date Convicted||Regulation||Section||Penalty Provision||Penalty Imposed||Date Sentenced|
|1||JO||23 August 2017||2nd November 2018||19(1) 19A(3)||3A(2)(a)(i)||$22,000.00||2nd November 2018|
|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; contrary to sections 19(1) and 19A(3) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.
The Accused, Stephen John Gregson, trading as Gregson Constructions, was an experienced carpenter and a registered builder who has worked in the construction industry for over 40 years.
The Accused was engaged by Milford Homes Pty Ltd to complete all of the carpentry associated with the construction of a single lot residential construction site at 1 Finden Street in Two Rocks, in August 2017. This included building the sub floor structure, stud wall framing, external wall cladding, roof frame, roof cover and internal carpentry.
The house under construction was a timber framed two-storey single dwelling on a sloping sandy site.
The Accused had two employee carpenters, one apprentice on an apprenticeship/training contract; and a carpenter who had previously been an apprentice of the Accused, that was employed on a full time basis as a qualified carpenter.
Both the apprentice and the carpenter (the workers) worked under the direction and instruction of the Accused to complete carpentry work for the complete timber frame house at 1 Finden Street in Two Rocks.
On 23 August 2017 the Accused and the two workers were working at 1 Finden Street in Two Rocks. The Accused was in control of the works at the site that day and gave instructions and directions to both the workers on what work to undertake.
On the morning of 23 August 2017 the Accused gave instructions to the apprentice on how to set the carpenter trestles to enable them both to install the barge boards to the right side of the roof gable on the front elevation of the house. The barge board is a finishing timber that fixes to the outside rafter on the open gable end located at the front elevation of the house.
The system of work implemented by the Accused for this task involved setting up a single plank running between two 1.8m high carpenter’s trestles on the timber verandah floor (approximately 3m above the ground level).
One of the carpenters trestles was positioned on top of a one bay, 1.8m high A frame steel scaffold platform, so that the single plank running between the two trestles was on a sloping angle.
There was no fall injury prevention system was in place.
To complete the task both the Accused and the apprentice stood on the single plank between the two rafters at the gable end and leaned out over the outer most rafter to nail the timber barge board into position. As the Accused and the apprentice were standing on the plank, the rafters of the roof, approximately six metres off the ground, were at about their knee height.
At about 11:30am the Accused instructed the carpenter to assist the apprentice to fix the timber barge boards to the other side of the gable (or left hand side as viewed directly facing the front of the house).
The single plank between two trestles system was set up by the workers in the same manner as before, as instructed and shown by the Accused whilst installing the barge board to the right side gable. Again, no fall injury prevention system was in place.
During the installation of the barge boards to the left side of the gable, the apprentice was positioned on the single plank between the last two rafters, about 200mm from the edge of the roof. The apprentice’s whole body and legs right down to just above his ankles were above the rafters. The carpenter was also standing on the rafters about 200mm from the edge of the roof.
When attempting to adjust the position of the barge board for fixing, the apprentice pushed down on the piece of timber. At that point the barge board came loose and he fell over the end rafter and approximately six metres to the compacted and levelled ground below.
The apprentice was found unconscious face down on the ground. After a few minutes he regained consciousness. An ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital.
The apprentice sustained severe injuries including:
a) numerous comminuted (or splintering), displaced fractures of the anterior and lateral walls of the right maxillary sinus (which required surgery to insert a titanium steel plate at his right cheek bone)
b) a fractured left wrist;
c) a brain concussion; and
d) facial lacerations.
On 25 August 2017, two days after the incident, scaffolding was erected at the front elevation up to the roof edge, which provided safe access and a safe working platform to the barge board, eliminating the hazard. Milford Homes paid the cost to supply, erect, and dismantle all of that scaffolding. No cost was incurred by the Accused.
The work on the front gable section of the roof at the time of the accident had no bearing on the timing or completion of the Accused’s contract. The Accused and his employees had other carpentry work to undertake and were on site for approximately three weeks after the injury to the apprentice, completing internal carpentry fix work.
There was no good reason for the work on that section of the roof to be conducted ahead of the other carpentry works.
The accused plead guilty at first mention and was convicted. The Magistrate fined the Accused $22,000 and ordered costs of $900.00
|Court||Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Joondalup|
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