Charges Laid For Workplace Fatality

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20 August 2014

A NSW maintenance engineer faces up to five years in jail and his bosses could be fined $3 million after a worker was killed at a construction site in ACT in 2011.

The worker was killed when he was struck by the boom, which collapsed at a construction site in Kingston after recently undergoing a full six year inspection.

The maximum penalty for a Category One offence is $3,000,000 for the company and $300,000 and/or five years imprisonment for the individual worker.

Alternative charges have also been laid for failing to comply with a health and safety duty, and exposing an individual to a risk of death or serious injury or illness.

WorkSafe ACT says the charges are the most serious to come before a court under nationally harmonised occupational safety laws and send a clear message to employers around Australia.

The ACT WorkSafe commissioner Mark McCabe has described the case as a wake-up call for employers.

“As unfortunate as the circumstances are, these charges send a clear message about the importance of workplace safety. It is a responsibility which cannot be taken lightly. Every worker has the right to return home safely at the end of the day,” Mr McCabe said.

What this case highlights for employers is the need to maintain your safety management systems to the highest national standards.

The Master Electricians SafetyConnect program can assist electrical contractors by providing an integrated safety management system, and regular advice regarding it's adoption in your business.