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Prosecution Details

Offender Alcove Engineering & Construction Pty Ltd (ACN: 610 967 836)


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Charge Charge Number Offence Date Date Convicted Regulation Section Penalty Provision Penalty Imposed Date Sentenced
1 RO77/2022 24-25 January 2019 11th February 2022 3A(2)(b)(i) $45,000.00 24th May 2022
Description of Breach(es)

Being a person that had, to any extent, control of a workplace where persons who were not its employees worked or were likely to be in the course of their work, failed to take such measures as were practicable to ensure that the workplace was such that persons at the workplace were not exposed to hazards.

Background Details

On 25 January 2019, a glazier was injured when he fell approximately 3 metres through concealed void between floors at a construction site for which the Offender was the main contractor.


In late 2018 a Homeowner engaged the Offender to undertake home renovation work at his property. The Property was a single storey residential property located on the corner of two streets. The scope of the renovation work involved the addition of a second storey to the property that would incorporate a master bedroom, ensuite, walk-in-robe and sitting room.

The Offender was engaged as the main building contractor for the renovation work.  The Offender engaged a number of subcontractors to undertake work at the Property, including a glass company, to supply and install six double glazed windows to the Property and a carpenter as the primary carpenter (carpenter subcontractor) at the Property.

The Offender employed a worker as the site supervisor. The role of site supervisor included engaging subcontractors and providing them with directions and instructions for their work at the Property.

On 24 and 25 January 2019 the Property was surround by a perimeter scaffold that included a barrow ramp and ladder. The scaffold enabled access to the newly constructed second storey.

THE INCIDENT- 24 January 2019

At approximately 7:00am on Thursday 24 January 2019, the carpenter sub-contractor and an employee of the Offender arrived at the Property. Their task that day was to remove a portion of the upper level mezzanine flooring situated in the newly constructed sitting room area, in preparation for the installation of the stairs that would lead from the ground floor to the sitting room area above.

The carpenter sub-contractor and the employee commenced the cutting out from the ground floor level. The work was carried out from ground floor level so there was no risk of falling from a height whilst doing the work. The carpenter subcontractor did the cutting out and the employee acted mainly as the labourer, taking debris to the onsite skip bin.

At around noon the employee told the carpenter subcontractor that he was feeling unwell and left the Property shortly after. The subcontractor stayed to complete the task.

When complete the void measured approximately 2.5m x 2.5m with a depth of approximately 3m from the top of the upper level flooring in the sitting room to the concrete slab below.

The carpenter subcontractor completed the work by approximately 4.30pm. He told the Homeowner that he would fit edge protection, in the form of a safety handrail, around the open void early the next morning. He then removed the ladder in order to prevent access from the lower level to the upper level sitting room area. He did not remove the access ladder or barrow ramp fitted to the on-site scaffold.

Before the carpenter subcontractor left the Property the Homeowner requested that he place a tarpaulin over the open void in order to stop wind and rain from entering into the lower level from the upper level unglazed windows. The carpenter subcontractor telephoned site supervisor and they had a conversation regarding covering the void with a tarpaulin. The site supervisor indicated that he did not have a problem with the void being covered as the access ladder leading to the upper level had been removed and no one was scheduled to arrive at the Property until approximately8:30am the following morning.

Following the discussion with the site supervisor, the carpenter subcontractor fitted the tarpaulin and nailed it into place, concealing the open void (Hazard). He then left the Property. He was due to return at 7:00am on 25 January 2019 to fit the handrail around the void.

Other subcontractors, including workers from glass company who were scheduled to arrive at the Property at approximately 8.30am on 25 January 2019, were not notified by the carpenter subcontractor or the site supervisor of the existence of the concealed void.

25 January 2019

Between 7:00am and 7:30am on 25 January 2019, the glass company director (glass subcontractor) and his employees, arrived early at the Property, to fit the double glazed window panes to the pre-installed frames on the second storey. 

The glass subcontractor went up the barrow ramp which was part of the onsite scaffold. He then climbed the scaffold ladder to get to the next lift of the scaffold and entered the upper level room through one of the unglazed window frames.  The glass subcontractor employee walked up the barrow ramp and passed the glass panes to another employee who then passed the glass through the master bedroom window to the glass subcontractor who then leant the glass panes against the wall.

The glass subcontractor then walked through the walk-in robes to the ensuite and then entered the sitting room via the open doorway. As he entered the sitting room, he saw the tarpaulin on the floor. There was no signage or other indication that there may have been an opening below. There was no railing or other edge protection preventing access to the void.  He walked towards the open window in the sitting room and stepped onto the tarpaulin, not knowing there was no flooring beneath it. He fell through the opening and landed on the concrete flooring below.

The glass subcontractor sustained the following injuries to his arm and shoulder as a result of the fall:

(a) Severe open dislocation to his right elbow; and

(b) Massive rotator cuff tear to the supraspinatus, infraspinatus and subscapularis muscles.

The carpenter subcontractor arrived at the Property shortly after the glass subcontractor had fallen through the opening.


The Offender, as the person with control of the workplace and the means of access to and egress from the workplace, failed to take the following practicable measures to ensure that persons who were not its employees and who were working at the Property on 25 January 2019 were not exposed to the Hazard:

(a) Require the carpenter subcontractor to, prior to leaving the Property on 24 January 2019:

i. Fit edge protection around the open Void; and/or

ii. Erect barricading to prevent access to the second storey; and/or

iii. Erect signage to notify persons attending the Property of the existence of the Hazard; and/or

iv. Remove the ladder that was fitted to the on-site scaffold to prevent access to the second storey.

(b) Itself take one or more of the measures in (a).

(c) Contact persons who were scheduled to arrive at the Property on 25 January 2019 and advise them of the existence of the Hazard.

Outcome Summary

The offender plead guilty and was convicted on first mention on 11 February 2022.

On 24 May 2022 the Magistrate sentenced the Offender and issued a fine of $45,000 and ordered costs of $ 5000.

Court Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Rockingham
Costs $5000.00

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