An elevator maintenance company has committed to spend more than $240,000 to improve health and safety outcomes after an incident at a Melbourne office building.
Published:07 September 2023
On Monday 21 August, the Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard TK Elevator Australia Pty Ltd had entered into an Enforceable Undertaking while facing charges of failing to provide necessary information, instruction or training and failing to prepare a safe work method statement before commencing high risk construction work.
WorkSafe may reinstate the charges if the undertaking is contravened or withdrawn.
In May 2020, a worker from another company engaged by TK Elevator Australia was conducting electrical testing and tagging on top of a lift car on the 13th floor of an office building on Queen Street.
The worker, who initially wasn't aware he was in a lift shaft, accidentally knocked his testing device off a handrail causing it to fall about 39 metres to the ground floor where it struck another worker on the back of his leg.
The struck worker was not injured and resumed work shortly after the incident.
WorkSafe alleged it was reasonably practicable for TK Elevator to induct workers into the relevant safety procedures and to prepare a safe work method statement before commencing testing and tagging work in the lift shaft.
WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer said it was fortunate the worker hit by the falling device was not killed or seriously injured.
"Even small objects can cause catastrophic consequences when falling from height," Dr Beer said.
"There are so many things that can go wrong when operating at heights so employers must ensure workers have the right safety information before commencing elevated tasks."
The estimated $241,395 undertaking requires the company to:
Develop and deliver object fall from height incident awareness training to all TK Elevator field technicians Australia wide.
Develop and deliver contractor safety training to TK Elevator managers and supervisors who engage sub-contractors.
Develop a permit system for the visual identification of subcontractors who are permitted to work in elevator shafts.
Distribute shaft safety kits for its teams, including a brochure distributed to Australian Elevator Association members.
Donate $21,000 to the Australian Institute for Health and Safety's OHS Body of Knowledge.
Provide funding for the Let's Talk About Safety group to deliver safety empowerment sessions to apprentices and TK Elevator workers.