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Prosecution Details

Defendant Kailis Bros Pty Ltd
Section 22(1) and 22(4)
Offence Date Friday, 4 January 2002
Description of Breach(es)

Being a person who has control of a workplace, where persons who are not employees of that person work, failed to take such measures as were practicable to ensure that the workplace was such that persons who were at the workplace were not exposed to hazards; contrary to sections 22(1) and 22(4) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

The defendant operated a commercial seafood supply business from premises at Canning Vale.

On 3 January 2002 the defendant had difficulty with one of its freezer bays in that the fan and its motor were not operating properly. The defendant contacted another company to repair the motor.

The motor was located at the rear of a freezer bay and positioned at a height of approximately 2.6 m above the floor of the freezer bay. There was a false baffle ceiling between the floor of the freezer bay and the motor. The baffle ceiling was not designed or constructed as a load bearing structure and only provides insulation within the freezer bay. The baffle ceiling was affixed to the side walls of the freezer bay using pop rivets. The baffle ceiling comprised of three panels each of which was made from a layer of polystyrene between two thin layers of sheet metal and was 75mm thick.

On 3 January 2002 an employee of the company attended the defendant's premises to do a preliminary assessment of the job. The employee was shown to the freezer bay by an employee of the defendant. The defendant's employee provided the company's employee with a ladder and directed him to use the false baffle ceiling to get to the motor.

The company's employee returned to the defendant's premises the next day with two fellow employees. They intended to replace the motor with a new motor using a forklift to get the motors to and from the false baffle ceiling. The company's employees used the ladder to get to the false baffle ceiling and the defendant's employee was operating the forklift. The company's employees were standing on the false baffle ceiling together with the motor when the ceiling gave way and collapsed to the floor below. In the fall one of the company's employees landed awkwardly and suffered a burst fracture of the L1 vertebrate. This employee was unfit for work for a period of at least 3 months.

It was practicable to remove the false baffle ceiling and provide a safe working platform.

The defendant pleaded guilty.

Outcome Summary Guilty
Conviction Date 31 May 2004
Court Perth Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $5,000
Costs $457.70
Charge Number 50546/03