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Prosecution Details

Defendant Tenix Defence Pty Ltd
Trading Name Tenix Shipbuilding WA
Section 19(1)
Offence Date Saturday, 3 March 2001
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer, failed to provide and maintain, so far as was practicable, a working environment in which its employees were not exposed to hazards and by that contravention caused the death of an employee.

Background Details

The defendant operated a shipbuilding company in Henderson.

On 3 March 2001 an employee, the deceased, was carrying out work which involved cutting penetrations and welding housing for transducer cables, on the forward lower cofferdam of a vessel. On that day a confined space permit had been issued in respect of the proposed work which was scheduled to take place. Before this permit was issued, tests were conducted to ensure that the place where the work was to be done was free from gasses. Also on that day a hot work certificate had been issued in respect of the proposed work.

At the time of the accident the deceased was welding pipes, which passed through the floor of a cofferdam on both sides of the steel floor plate in the vessel, and was required to stand up to his mid to upper thighs in an oval shaped steel inspection hatchway in the floor of the cofferdam. The deceased and his spotter were in the cofferdam from approximately 1pm to 4pm without any liquid intake. At approximately 4pm the spotter heard the deceased groan and saw him slump forward.

A post mortem examination revealed injuries to the top of the right side of the deceased's chest, face and neck, described by a pathologist as being consistent with electro-thermal injuries.

The defendant pleaded not guilty and was found guilty on 12 December 2002. The defendant's appeal from that decision was heard on 15 May 2003. On 30 July 2003 the defendant's appeal was dismissed.

Outcome Summary


Conviction Date 12 Dec 2002
Court Perth Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $30,000
Costs $5,000
Charge Number FRE6592/02