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Prosecution Details

Defendant Bernard Hart Nominees Pty Ltd
Trading Name Hartway Galvanizers
Section 19(1)(b) and 19(6)
Regulation Not Applicable
Offence Date Saturday, 21 June 1997
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer, failed so far as was practicable to provide and maintain a working environment in which its employees were not exposed to hazards and in particular failed to provide such instruction, supervision and training to its employees, as was necessary to enable them to perform their work in such a manner that they were not exposed to hazards.

Background Details

The work process at the defendant's premises is a flow through system whereby the articles to be galvanises enter the factory at one end. They are sorted and attached to a lifting beam by wire to enable them to be immersed in a series of baths, from caustic soda, pickling tanks of various strengths of hydrochloric acid to a flux treatment in a bath of ammonium chloride and then dipped in molten zinc.

At the time of the accident, an employee was pickling a batch of fence pickets. As he lowered a lifting T beam into a acid tank it tilted, an indication that something was lying on the bottom of the tank and preventing the pickets from being completely submerged. The pickets were lifted out of the tank to allow the employee, with two other employees, access to remove the object from the tank. One employee climbed onto the side of the tank, a precarious manoeuvre given that the beam was only 300mm wide and could on occasion be wet and slippy. From a crouch position he was able to hook the object with a metal retrieval bar. As he stood up and tried to lift the object the hook slipped and he fell backwards into the adjacent acid tank.

His Worship Mr Heath SM noted that the dangers were not previously appreciated to the extent that they were at trial. Nevertheless, to reflect the seriousness of the charge a fine of $10,000 was imposed.

The defendant pleaded not guilty. The penalty was imposed under section 19(6).

Lead Image
Outcome Summary


Conviction Date 17 Nov 1999
Court Perth Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $10,000
Costs $3,265
Charge Number 28540/98