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Prosecution Details

Section 19 (1) & 19(7)
Offence Date Thursday, 21 September 2000
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer, failed, so far as was practicable, to provide and maintain a working environment in which its employee was not exposed to hazards and by that failure caused the death of an employee; contrary to Sections 19 (1) and 19(7) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

On 21st September 2000 at Acacia Prison site Wooroloo, an employee was asked to cut a concrete pipe and he was provided with a quick-cut saw to carry out that task, being a saw he had used on other occasions to cut limestone blocks. The concrete pipe that the employee was asked to cut was approximately 2.4 metres in length with a flange at one end. The pipe was reinforced by longitudinal bars down the length of the pipe as well as by spirally wound reinforcement. The employee was later found dead a short distance from where the pipe was situated with an injury to his neck.

The state of the concrete pipe suggested that two cuts had been made, one of each side of it, whilst it was lying on the ground. While the second cut was being made, the upper surface of the pipe compressed (that is, the gap created in the pipe by the cut closed) causing the saw blade to kick-back and strike the employee in the neck.

It was found that Transfield failed to provide the employee with a safe system of work to cut the pipe. It was found the defendant's failure to provide a safe system of work and to instruct the deceased to use that system of work and to ensure that he did caused his death.

The defendant's appeal was dismissed.

Outcome Summary CONVICTION
Conviction Date 28 Apr 2004
Fine $50,000
Costs $15,125.00
Charge Number MI 3333/02