|Luke Fraser CORDEROY
|Between 29 December 2016 and 5 January 2017
|13th June 2023
|19(1) 19A(2) 55(1)
|13th June 2023
|Description of Breach(es)
Luke Fraser Corderoy was either: (i) a manager of; or (ii) purported to at in the capacity of a Director, Manager or other officer of Industrial Construction Services Pty Ltd (a body corporate) when Industrial Construction Services Pty Ltd was guilty of an offence under sections 19(1) and 19A(2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and that offence occurred with the consent of and/or was attributable to the neglect of Luke Fraser Corderoy contrary to sections 55(1), 19(1) and 19A(2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984
Workplace and Employment
Luke Fraser Corderoy (Corderoy) was engaged by Industrial Construction Services Pty Ltd (ICS). ICS was an Australian Company with company registration number 612 452 276. ICS operated in the construction industry and had commenced operating in May 2016.
Valmont (WA) Pty Ltd (Valmont) was the main contractor for one stage of the construction and refurbishment works at 3 Forrest Place, Perth, also known as the old GPO Building (the Workplace). It is a heritage landmark building located on the western side of Forrest Place in Perth’s central business district.
ICS was engaged by Valmont to construct and install an atrium roof between floors two and three in the central area of the Workplace. The atrium was between 10 and 12 metres high. The atrium roof was constructed from steel beams with glass panels placed on top of the steel beam frame. The glass panels weighed approximately 100kg each and were trafficable which meant they could be walked on once installed.
The victim was employed by ICS as a casual labourer/trades assistant. He was 17 years of age and did not have any formal training in construction and minimal practical experience.
ICS had a number of other employees or subcontractors working on the atrium roof project along with the victim and Corderoy including: a Director of ICS; subcontractor 1; subcontractor 2; subcontractor 3.
Due to other constraints, the atrium roof was to be installed after hours.
Corderoy’s involvement in ICS prior to attendance at the Workplace
Corderoy assisted the director of ICS in running the business and was either a manager of ICS or purported to act in this capacity (or as a Director or other officer of ICS) and participated in many important decisions made by ICS.
Corderory was instrumental in ICS being engaged by Valmont as he had prior design experience and industry contacts, and he designed the atrium roof. ICS were contracted by Valmont because of Corderoy’s previous experience in design and construction of a similar type.
Once engaged by Valmont Corderoy was the primary contact person between Valmont and ICS for any site related issues including quotations, invoicing, work shift times, meeting requests and site discussions generally. He placed the orders for the steel and glass components of the atrium roof on behalf of ICS and was involved in discussions with various parties about ways to lift the steel beams and glass panels up onto the atrium roof level.
Corderoy sourced a designer to design two davit cranes to be used to lift the steel beams up to the atrium roof level on behalf of ICS. He also sent the davit crane calculations and sketches to Valmont representatives for approval before installation.
Valmont site supervisors and Director, and others involved in the project, believed Corderoy was either the Director or Manager of ICS and was effectively in charge of the atrium roof job on behalf of ICS.
A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) for the installation of the steel beams was written by Corderoy dated 8 December 2016. In this Corderoy listed himself as contact person for ICS, project manager and project administrator and also lists him as responsible site supervisor for all procedures to be implemented in terms of safety.
This SWMS was sent by Corderoy on behalf of ICS to Valmont by email on the same day.
When Corderoy completed the Valmont site induction form on 14 December 2016 he stated ICS was his employer and his job role as ‘ICS Supervisor’.
Corderoy applied for the required Permits with the City of Perth on behalf of ICS on 14 December 2016. He also applied for finance on behalf of ICS. In these applications Corderoy used his own personal contact details.
Corderoy also provided a tool chest of safety equipment including safety harnesses, static lines and lanyards to ICS.
Attendance at the Workplace
Corderoy and the ICS director signed the Valmont induction forms at the Workplace on 14 December 2016. Three ICS workers, including the victim signed their inductions with Valmont on 15 December 2016, and a fourth ICS worker signed their induction with Valmont on 18 December 2016.
At the commencement of ICS on site, ICS installed several wedge type anchors and eyebolts into the brick structure of the building for the purpose of attaching static lines as part of a fall injury prevention system (FIPS).
The ICS director and other ICS workers installed two davit cranes on the existing concrete structure at the atrium roof level and these were used to lift the steel beams up so they could be secured to form the atrium steel roof framework.
ICS installed static lines between these davit cranes and the wedge type anchors and eyebolts which were installed into columns around the edge at the atrium roof height. These were for workers to hook onto with a safety harness and lanyard whilst working on the atrium steel framework construction. Once the steel beam framework had been installed, the davit cranes were removed by ICS along with the static lines. These were removed before the glass installation commenced.
Although a SWMS had been prepared by Corderoy for the installation of the steel beams, none had been prepared for installation of the glass panels or touch up painting (glass installation phase). ICS continued the glass installation phase into early 2017 without a further risk assessment being conducted on the risk of falls from height.
Plywood boards were purchased on behalf of ICS. These were then installed upon part of the steel framework of the atrium. However, there were not enough plywood boards to cover all of the open voids in the atrium steel framework.
On more than one occasion, the victim was observed not wearing his safety harness whilst at the top of the atrium framework when no other suitable safety measure was in place. He was also observed to be wearing his safety harness fitted incorrectly and had to have this corrected by other workers.
Other workers of ICS including Corderoy were also observed to be not wearing their safety harnesses or not connected to any form of fall injury prevention system whilst on top of the atrium steel framework.
Once the davit crane and static line were removed, the only safety measure in place was for workers to sling onto the steel framework using slings around the steel beams connected to a lanyard and their safety harness. However, this was an inadequate safety measure as it left a fall hazard every time a worker had to reposition themselves as they were not attached to anything whilst unhooking and moving from one beam to another.
This system was also not able to be used by those walking around on top of the atrium steel framework, for example, by those workers carrying the glass into position or those needing to get into position to paint the steel beams.
There were a number of trip hazards on top of the atrium roof including electrical cables and uneven surfaces.
There is a Code of Practice for the Prevention of Falls at Workplaces 2004 (Code of Practice). This covers such things as the instruction and training of workers on the prevention of falls in Part 3 and supervision of workers in Part 4. Part 8 of the Code of Practice sets out various requirements for fall injury prevention systems and anchorages. The Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (OSH Regulations) stipulate that any construction work involving a risk of a person falling 2 metres or more is defined as High Risk Construction Work and stipulates several requirements that should have been complied with, but were not complied with.
On the evening of Wednesday 4 January 2017, Corderoy and other ICS workers were on night shift to continue the glass installation phase. They were part way through installing the glass panels. There were several open voids in the atrium steel framework structure. Some voids already had glass panels installed and some had sheets of plywood boards covering the holes, however some voids were not covered by anything. The open voids ranged in size between approximately 1m x 1m and 1m x 2m.
During the nightshift of 4 January 2017 and continuing into the morning of 5 January 2017, there were 6 ICS workers onsite.
The sequence of glass panel installation during that shift was that subcontractor 1 and subcontractor 2 were on the ground floor loading the glass onto an A-frame cradle that was then hoisted up to the atrium framework level. The ICS director and subcontractor 3 were on top of the atrium framework and received the glass panels off the A-frame and subsequently installed them.
Corderoy was in an elevated work platform (EWP) on the underside of the atrium steel framework installing actuators on some of the glass panels. Actuators are devices which open and close the glass panels for airflow control. The victim was doing touch up painting work on the installed steel beams of the atrium and general labouring and clean-up work.
Shortly before the incident, the victim was on top of the atrium steel framework and was communicating with Corderoy. Corderoy was inside the EWP basket and working from this basket on the underside of the atrium steel framework.
Shortly afterwards at about 4.15am, the victim fell through an open void of the atrium framework to the ground floor approximately 12 metres below. He was not wearing a safety harness when he fell and there was no adequate system in place to prevent him falling to the ground floor below.
The victim died from hitting the ground with the cause of death being severe head and spinal injury.
Subsequent to the Incident
After this incident, ICS purchased three inertia reels at a total cost of approximately $5,500. ICS also purchased additional safety equipment which along with the inertia reels came to a total cost of approximately $10,000.
A qualified rope access company was bought in and approved the use of the inertia reels connected to the above main roof beam of the Workplace.
After the incident, the inertia reels were used by ICS workers to hook on to their safety harnesses in order to safely complete the job. Also used was an existing fall arrest system which was a Bomac Altrac Overhead Track System. This was already installed along rails at the roof level (level 7) of the workplace and was used to sling ropes off to assist with the safe installation of the remaining glass panels.
In addition, each worker had to sign onto a SWMS specifically designed for the task and attend daily prestart safety meetings before commencing work.
The glass panel installation was supervised by a Level 2 rope access technician who oversaw compliance with the pre-prepared SWMS.
After a two week trial the offender was found guilty by the Magistrate and convicted and sentenced on 13 June 2023. The Magistrate fined the offender $60,000 and issued a costs order of $45,813.50. (Please note the maximum fine for this is $200,000 (Section 19A(2) & section 3A(3)(a) OSH Act)
|Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Perth
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