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Prosecution Details

Defendant Vac-Tech Group Pty Ltd
Trading Name Not applicable
Section 19(1)(a) and 19(6)
Regulation Not Applicable
Offence Date Tuesday, 11 May 1999
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 and maintain a system of work such that, so far as was practicable, its employees were not exposed to hazards.

Background Details

The defendant company, situated in Kwinana, provides a range of services to the mining industry including asbestos removal, industrial vacuuming, high pressure water blasting and descaling of galvanised pipe work.

On 11 May 1999, employees of the defendant were demolishing a shed at the company's premises. The devised system of work to demolish the shed involved:
* removal the steel sheet cladding making up the walls;
* supporting the framework by a forklift whilst each section of frame was cut away by oxy-acetylene equipment;
* lowering the cut off frame to the ground by forklift, where it was cut into pieces by oxy-acetylene equipment; and
* removing the pieces of cladding and the majority of the steel framework by hand and the large pieces of frame using the forklift.

Two employees had one last piece of frame to remove. This piece was longer than the others which required the forklift to be raised higher than it had been previously. As the forklift was driven under the wash stand, the extended mast of the forklift hit the top of the frame of the wash stand, causing it to fall over.

The employee delegated to watch the forklift pass under the wash stand stood in the wash bay but failed to see that the extended mast of the forklift was too high to pass under the wash stand. The driver of the forklift also failed to observe the height problem.

The observer employee was hit by the falling wash stand and suffered fractures to the left shoulder, arm and elbow.

The case was heard before Her Worship Ms Bennett-Borlase SM.

The defendant pleaded guilty. The penalty was imposed under section 19(6).

Outcome Summary


Conviction Date 23 Jun 2000
Court Rockingham Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $750
Costs $250
Charge Number 2302/2000