Company found guilty of safety failures
A Sydney company has been convicted and fined $618,750 after two subcontracted workers without training or safety gear fell when instructed to work at height on a demolition site.
Head of SafeWork NSW Natasha Mann said Greater Civil Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the NSW District Court to one count of failing to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of its employees and one count of failing to immediately inform SafeWork NSW of a notifiable event.
“The court heard the 2019 incident happened during the demolition of a single storey factory at Vineyard in Sydney’s north-west. The labourers were instructed to perform demolition tasks at a height of about four metres,” Ms Mann said.
“The workers were standing on the open bucket of an excavator when it detached from the machine’s arm and fell to the concrete floor below.”
The court heard that safe work platforms such as elevated work platforms (EWPs) and scissor lifts are among the equipment recommended for such tasks on construction sites.
Greater Civil Pty Ltd did not inform SafeWork NSW about the incident and the supervisor denied knowledge of the incident.
The event was brought to the attention of authorities by Westmead Hospital where one of the labourers was treated for multiple injuries.
The subsequent SafeWork inspection revealed the excavator had been serviced but there were numerous major faults, including a missing mounting bolt secured with wire instead.
Greater Civil Pty Ltd has a right to appeal the court’s decision.
“Businesses must immediately inform SafeWork NSW of any notifiable incidents in workplaces,” Ms Mann said.
“Businesses have obligations under work health and safety laws and need to be proactive about workplace safety to manage risks.”
To view the Construction Falls from Heights Checklist visit the SafeWork NSW website.