Another caravan maker pays the price for ignoring safety notices

Workplace safety at Melbourne caravan builders has been thrust into the spotlight with the prosecution of two companies for failing to address health and safety issues.
News article published

Monday 30 May 2011

Industries and topics
  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing

Empire Caravans and Spaceland Caravans National, both with factories in Campbellfield, have been fined thousands of dollars after appearing in court for ignoring safety improvement notices.

Spaceland Caravans National faced the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court on 10 May charged with 10 counts of failing to comply with an improvement notice.

WorkSafe issued 10 notices after an inspection of the Campbellfield factory on 22 October 2009.

The company had two months to address the notices, which covered common problems such as slips, trips and falls, an unsafe forklift and mobile work platform and dangerous storage racking

Failing to comply with the notices resulted in the prosecution and the company being fined $8,000, without conviction.

The Spaceland Caravans prosecution comes after Empire Caravans was fined $5,500, without conviction, after pleading guilty last month to six counts of failing to comply with an improvement notice issued during an inspection of its factory on 30 September, 2009.

WorkSafe’s Manufacturing, Logistics and Agriculture Division, Ross Pilkington said the prosecutions should remind all workplaces of their obligation to comply with improvement notices or risk legal consequences.

“Despite the improvement notices being a legal direction, they are issued to help protect workers from being injured and significant commercial consequences,” he said.

“It is important for workplaces to address these notices. Even better, we’d rather have workplace address and health and safety concerns well before we arrive.”

“If improvement notices are dealt with promptly, the matter generally ends there. If you don’t, along with the risk of someone being hurt, the chance of a prosecution rises quickly.”

“It would be far more beneficial for everyone, and less expensive, if workplaces took the time to fix safety issues as soon as they’re identified.”