Concord Builders Group Pty Ltd was found guilty on Friday of two contraventions of the OHS Act for failing to ensure it provided, as far as reasonably practicable, a workplace that was safe and without risk to health.
The Warrnambool Magistrates’ Court heard that two Concord Builders Group employees were installing solar panels on the roof of the property in January 2017 when one fell five metres onto the front lawn.
The worker received broken ribs and neck injuries.
A WorkSafe investigation found there was no evidence of fall protection being used for work within two metres of the roof edge, and no Safe Work Method Statement was in place for the high risk work.
The court ruling follows the deaths of two workers from falls at separate residential construction sites in August.
A man in his 30s died when he fell into a deep trench at a housing estate at Wallan on August 16, and a man in his 40s died in hospital after falling through a stair void at a housing construction site at Rosebud on August 18.
WorkSafe Acting Director of Health and Safety Paul Fowler said the organisation would continue to actively pursue employers who ignored the risks of falls from height.
“As we have seen recently and consistently over a number of years, the risk of falls on construction sites is real, and the consequences are both heartbreaking and life-altering,” Mr Fowler said.
“This fine and conviction should serve as a warning to all employers that failing to protect workers who are required to operate at height is simply inexcusable.”
To prevent falls employers can:
- Eliminate the risk by doing all or some of the work on the ground or from a solid construction
- Use fall prevention devices such as scaffolds, perimeter screens, guardrails, elevated work platforms or safety mesh.
- Use travel-restraint systems, industrial rope-access systems, catch platforms and fall arrest harness systems.
- Use suitable equipment for working at height. A step platform with handrails provides a larger, more stable surface than a ladder
Extensive guidance on working safely at height is available on the WorkSafe website or by calling WorkSafe’s advisory service on 1800 136 089 between 8.30am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
Border construction sites under the microscopeNews
04 Mar 2015
Border inspections targeting unsafe construction workNews
18 May 2015
Man dies after fall at Doreen building siteNews
06 Jul 2012
Two dead and one injured in horror weekendNews
20 Feb 2017
Worker dies after 4.3m fall from ladderNews
23 May 2017
Housing sites on notice to reduce the risk of fallsNews
01 May 2018
Man dies after fall from factoryNews
13 Jun 2012
11 falls prompts warning about working safely at heightsNews
14 Feb 2018
Worker dies in hospital following serious fallNews
22 Aug 2018
Falls the focus of Cross Border safety programNews
23 Aug 2018
Builder fined $70,000 after worker fell from roofNews
04 Sep 2018
New asbestos and prevention of falls compliance codes now availableNews
11 Oct 2018
WorkSafe targets housing sites to reduce the risk of fallsNews
23 Nov 2018
Building company fined for failing on fall risksNews
29 Nov 2018
Safety Inspectors to blitz construction sitesNews
21 Mar 2019
Company, director fined after fall deathNews
10 May 2019
Apartment developer fined $80,000 for unsafe worksitesNews
15 May 2019
Demolition company fined $75,000 after worker’s fallNews
07 Aug 2019
Company fined $120,000 for unsafe worksiteNews
16 Oct 2019
Company fined $650,000 after deadly fallNews
13 Nov 2019