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Prosecution Details

Defendant Gosh Leather Pty Ltd
Trading Name Gosh Leather
Section 19(1)(a) and 19(6)
Regulation Not Applicable
Offence Date Monday, 5 May 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 plant such that, so far as was practicable, its employees were not exposed to hazards.

Background Details

On 5 May 1997 an employee of Gosh Leather, suffered a soft tissue injury to her right arm when it was caught between the front roller of the string conveyor shown in the photograph and the framework. Typically when in operation there is a series of strings around the front roller to create the conveyor.

This matter was first listed for mention on 22 June 1998. On 4 and 5 November 1998, His Worship Mr Nicholls SM received evidence and argument on the validity of the authority to prosecute the company. On 11 December 1998 his Worship delivered the reasons for his decision in relation to the no case submission and found that there was a case to answer.

After this decision, the proceedings were adjourned generally, pending the decision to be handed down by the Full Court of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in Moltoni and Shepherd [1999] WASCA73, delivered 23 June 1999. The Full Court decision in Moltoni (supra) resulted in the continuation of these proceedings.

On 28 October 1999 the defendant presented its case and closing submissions were made.

On 18 February 2000, His Worship delivered his reasons for judgement. The conclusion inter alia states:

"1. The prosecution was duly authorised by law.

2. The guarding referred to in particulars 5.1 [It was practicable to guard the roller by the provision of a guard immediately behind the roller, and underneath the string conveyor so as to prevent any item falling through the string conveyor and being caught in the circular motion of the roller] and 5.2 [It was practicable to guard the roller by the provision of a guard immediately in front of the roller, so as to prevent any item being caught in the circular motion of the roller] and the second emergency stop button referred to in particular 5.4 [It was practicable to install emergency stopping devices at each side of the roller which would be accessible by each of the employees working in the vicinity of the Roller Coater Roller Section of the plant at any given time, and which when activated, would permit the immediate stoppage of the plant] are suitable and practicable measures.

Accordingly, I find that the offence has been proven and that the defendant company is guilty of the charge."

On 23 March 2000 His Worship delivered his decision on sentencing and indicated that it should be a substantial fine. His concluding remarks were:

"A fine in the order of $1,000 to $2,000 would effectively be 1 or 2 percent of the maximum fine. This is a serious breach and in my view and notwithstanding the fact that the defendant has previously a good and unblemished record, an appropriate and substantial fine in my view is $10,000 and that is the sentence to be imposed upon the defendant company."

The defendant pleaded not guilty. The fine was imposed under section 19(6) of the Act

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Outcome Summary


Conviction Date 23 Mar 2000
Court South Hedland and Perth Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $10,000
Costs $6,917
Charge Number 28555/98