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Prosecution Details

Defendant Don Russell Homes Pty Ltd
Trading Name Not Applicable
Regulation 3.54(1)(b) x 2
Offence Date Wednesday, 26 August 1998
Description of Breach(es)

Being the main contractor at a workplace, failed to ensure that an opening in a concrete floor of a building at the workplace with dimensions of more than 200mm x 200mm but less than 2 metres x 2 metres which was not a lift well, a stairwell or a vehicle inspection pit, had wire mesh which met the requirements of regulation 3.54(2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 made under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and was covered with a material that was strong enough to prevent persons or things entering or falling through the opening and which was securely fixed to the floor.

Background Details

On 26 August 1998 a WorkSafe inspector conducted site inspections of two homes being constructed in Contacio Court by the defendant.

Both homes were two storey, and at each site, the inspector noted that penetrations or holes in the first floor concrete slab did not have wire mesh and had not been covered with a suitable covering to reduce the risk of falls from a height of 3.5 metres.

His Worship said that the charges were serious and that the openings were such that it was possible that a person could be injured by falling through the void or by being struck by materials falling through the void. His Worship noted that the defendant was a building company with 35 years experience and had not been previously prosecuted. The defendent had taken the charges seriously and had taken steps to improve training and internal procedures to avoid a repetition of the offences. With respect to the openings in the slabs, the voids were covered shortly after the Inspector's visit by carpenters on site. But for the guilty plea and the mitigating matters referred to above, His Worship said he would have imposed a fine of $5,000 with respect to each charge. An improvement notice was issued to the defendant at another site in February 1997 citing the same regulation.

The defendant pleaded guilty.

Lead Image
Outcome Summary convicted
Conviction Date 18 May 1999
Court Perth Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $4000 x 2 (total $8000)
Costs $165 x 2
Charge Number 5851/99 and 5852/99