skip navigation

Prosecution Details

Defendant Merym Pty Ltd
Trading Name Merym Constructions
Section 22(1)(a) and 22(4)
Regulation Not applicable
Offence Date Between 30 January 2000 and 5 February 2000
Description of Breach(es)

Being a person who had control of a workplace where persons who were not its employees worked, failed to take such measures as were practicable to ensure that the workplace was such that persons who were at the workplace were not expoed to hazards.

Background Details

The defendant was the main contractor undertaking redevelopment work at Belmont Village Shopping Centre which involved both construction and demolition work.

In early January 2000 an electrical contractor disconnected the main supply and made wiring inside the workplace safe for further demolition. He informed the site supervisor that the work had been completed as far as possible, but that air-conditioning units located in the workplace were still energised, that the thermostat switches connected to the units on the walls were live, and that the existing circuits in the ceiling space were also live.

On 31 January 2000 after ceiling and partitions were progressively demolished, bricklayers began working on the foundation at the workplace to construct a brick wall. A director of the defendant gave instructions to decommission the air-conditioning units, however he did not instruct for workers to stop working in the area of the live wiring.

Between 31 January and 4 February 2000, live air-conditioning unit control wiring that went to the thermostats remained hanging from the roof. Also a live thermostat control switch, which had been connected to an air-conditioning unit, was lying on the floor wrapped in black plastic.

The bricklayers were constructing a wall near the overhead wires. Metal scaffolding was erected near the overhead wires, for the purposes of constructing the wall. A cement mixer was located near the floor control switch. There was a large puddle of water near the cement mixer. The workers were exposed to the hazard of electrocution or electrical shock due the exposed live wires.

The site supervisor had arranged for an air-conditioning contractor to attend the site on 4 February 2000 in order the decommision the air-conditioning system, however he did not take any precautions to ensure that workers did not work in the vicinity of the live wires.

On 4 February 2000 whilst a bricklayer was on a scaffold approximately 1.5 metres high working on the brick wall, he reached up and grabbed the overhead wires, as they were in the way. As he went to place the wires over the pipe he received an electric shock. He still had the wires in his hand when he received a second electric shock. He jumped off the scaffold after receiving the shocks.

The defendant pleaded guilty. The penalty was imposed under section 22(4).

Lead Image
Outcome Summary


Conviction Date 27 Feb 2001
Court Perth Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $5,000
Costs $633.70
Charge Number 51666/00