A Melbourne construction company has been convicted and fined $275,000 following the death of a painter who fell 3.46 metres through a stair void at a Mornington Peninsula building site.
VCON Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court to contravening section 26 of the OHS Act when it failed to ensure that the workplace was safe and without risks to health.
The company was ordered to pay $7500 in costs.
The court heard that the painter was working on the first floor when he fell through the void and landed on the tiled ground floor in February, 2017.
He was taken to hospital where he later died from his injuries.
A WorkSafe investigation found a wooden handrail at the edge of the first floor void near where the painter was working had been partially dislodged from one of its clamps.
WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said exposing workers to the risks of falls from height was unacceptable.
"Falls from height continue to be a leading cause of serious injuries and death in Victorian workplaces," Ms Nielsen said.
"As the holidays approach and many employers are rushing to get work finished, this tragic incident is a reminder of the dangers working at height involves."
"WorkSafe inspectors are currently focusing on the risk of falls from heights when they visit construction sites and will not hesitate to take enforcement action where they see that a risk is not adequately being controlled."
To prevent falls from height employers can:
- Eliminate the risk by doing all or some of the work on the ground or from a solid construction.
They can also:
- Use a passive fall prevention device such as scaffolds, perimeter screens, guardrails, safety mesh or elevating work platforms.
- Use a positioning system, such as a travel-restraint system.
- Use a fall arrest system, such as a catch platform or safety nets.
- Use a fixed or portable ladder or implement administrative controls.
More information: Preventing falls from height
Construction safety focus: Prevention of falls
A guide to falls prevention
Guidance note: Prevention of falls in construction
Compliance code: Prevention of falls in housing construction
Compliance code: Prevention of falls in general construction
Prevention of falls: Working on roofs
Prevention of falls: Mezzanines
Prevention of falls: Ladders
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
WorkSafe targets housing sites to reduce the risk of fallsNews
23 Nov 2018
Building company fined for failing on fall risksNews
29 Nov 2018
Man dies after three metre fall at HighettNews
06 Feb 2012
Third safety prosecution in four years for Colac timber companyNews
16 Nov 2011
WorkSafe investigates de-sal pipeline crane collapseNews
25 Feb 2011
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
11 falls prompts warning about working safely at heightsNews
14 Feb 2018
Housing sites on notice to reduce the risk of fallsNews
01 May 2018
Man dies after fall from factoryNews
13 Jun 2012