Despite receiving 10 improvement notices from WorkSafe Victoria inspectors, the company failed to implement most of the recommended control measures and was fined $50,000 for failing to ensure the safety of leaving or entering a workplace, $40,000 for failing to provide a safe working environment, $25,000 for not complying with improvement notices and $10,000 for exposing persons other than employees to risks. The company has two prior convictions from 2016, regarding working at height and traffic management issues.
“All of the problems identified at this site could have been easily fixed at relatively little cost, but the company instead repeatedly ignored directives to fix them and has now suffered the consequences. Everyone has the right to be safe at work and WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute employers who expose their workers to potential serious injury or death, even when that risk does not eventuate,” said Julie Nielsen, WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety.
Employers must ensure some or all of the work is performed on the ground or from a solid construction, to prevent falls from height. Employers can also prevent falls from height by using scaffolds, perimeter screens, guardrails, safety mesh or elevating work platforms. A positioning system (eg, travel-restraint system), fall arrest system (eg, catch platform or safety nets) or a fixed or portable ladder could also prevent falls from height.
Employers can reduce traffic-related risks by using clear signage and appropriate physical barriers where traffic or pedestrian diversion onto roadways cannot be avoided. Employers must identify where there is likely to be risk to pedestrians and cyclists from trucks, particularly near site entry and exit points, and follow a Traffic Management Plan.
Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Hoda Bogdan