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Prosecution Details

Defendant Lawrence John O'Connell
Trading Name Narrogin Autobody Repairs
Section 19(1)(a) [1] and 19(3)(b) [2]
Regulation Not Applicable
Offence Date Monday, 10 November 1997
Description of Breach(es)

[1] Being an employer, failed so far as was practicable to provide and maintain a working environment in which his employee, was not exposed to a hazard and in particular failed to provide and maintain plant such that, so far as was practicable, that employee was not exposed to a hazard.

[2] Being the employer of an employee, who at a workplace incurred an injury that is of a kind prescribed by regulation 2.4(1)(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996, namely a fracture of the pelvis, failed to forthwith notify the WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner in the prescribed form giving such particulars as are prescribed.

Background Details

A young worker received serious injuries as a result of falling through a roof of a building in Narrogin. The incident occurred whilst the injured employee was removing the ducting to a pre-existing spray painting booth. The employee fell approximately 5 metres to a cement floor when he stepped onto a piece of clear roof sheeting. The roof sheeting did not sustain his weight and it shattered causing him to fall to the ground below.

The injuries sustained included severe bruising, fractured pelvis, broken wrist and necessitated the employees evacuation by the Royal Flying Doctor to Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital.

The injured person and another employee had worked on the removal for approximately two weeks. They did not receive adequate instruction in safe work at heights, nor were they provided with systems that would arrest them in the event of a fall. They used a ladder that was already on site to access the roof. The ladder was approximately 2.8 metres long and did not quite reach the gutter line making access difficult. There was no safety mesh under the roof and edge protection was not provided.

The accident was not notified by the employer.

His Worship, Mr Malley SM, stated "There was a foreseeable risk of harm involved in the work. In these circumstances it was incumbent on the defendant to take practical steps to avoid or mitigate that harm."

The defendant pleaded not guilty. The penalty was imposed under sections 19(7) and 19(8) respectively.

Lead Image
Outcome Summary convicted
Conviction Date 23 Sep 1999
Court Narrogin Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $1500 (global) [1] and [2]
Costs $1200 (global) [1] and [2]
Charge Number NG707/98 [1]; and NG708/98 [2]