$20,000 Fine for Employee's Fall
19 Nov 05
A Hobart construction firm was fined $20,000 yesterday after a worker fell 6m [meters] and suffered multiple fractures.
R & H Constructions pleaded guilty in the Hobart Magistrates Court to failing to ensure an employee was safe from injury.
The court heard the worker fell while demolishing a mezzanine walkway at the Zinifex Hobart Smelter at Risdon on June 7 last year. He received multiple leg, hip and wrist fractures. The worker had been using a chainsaw to demolish the walkway he was standing on when it collapsed.
The company did not undertake a risk assessment, no scaffold was used -- although one was supposed to have been used -- and the company failed to ensure the worker was wearing a safety harness.
In considering the penalty to impose, Magistrate Helen Wood said the company had previously had a good safety record and noted it had been penalised through an increase in workers compensation premiums.
The court heard the injured employee now had difficulties walking long distances and lifting.
The company had faced a maximum fine of $150,000.
I immediately thought of "The Sitter-Downers" when I read this... the screwiest part, though, is that the court considered the accident to be the employer's fault, and not the worker's! http://www.themercury.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,17293396