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Prosecution Details

Defendant Galtis Pty Ltd and Dummett Enterprises Pty Ltd
Trading Name Bouvard Marine
Section 21(1)(b) and 21(3)
Offence Date Monday, 16 February 2004
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer failed to ensure so far as was practicable that the safety or health of a person not being its employee was not adversely affected wholly or in part as a result of the work in which it was engaged; contrary to sections 21(1)((b) and 21(3) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

The accused have a boat building and repair business in Mandurah
On 16 February 2004 the injured person was employed by another organisation as an apprentice welder pursuant to an apprenticeship agreement, and was carrying out work for the accused at its boat yard in Mandurah.

On 16 February 2004 a director of the accused instructed the person to weld up a crack in the seat spigot affixed to the floor of an aluminium marine vessel. The director did not provide the person with any other instruction. The director then returned to his office to carry out administrative duties and left the person unsupervised.

When the person went to strike an electric arc to start his welder he was blasted into the air by an explosion on the marine vessel. The person suffered a fractured right knee; burst fracture to vertebrae in his back, burns and shrapnel wounds. An ambulance was called and he was taken to Peel Health Campus.

The force of the explosion created shrapnel, which made a hole in the roof, and broke the toilet window of the shed in which the vessel was parked. The hull of the vessel was written off. Subsequent investigation has shown that the explosion was caused by the interaction of the welder with fuel vapour that was in the fuel tank of the vessel.

The accused did not have any kind of equipment for use prior commencing welding to detect the presence of a flammable or explosive substance in the area in which the welding was to be carried out, and did not provide the person with any training or instruction as to the need to ensure that there was no flammable or explosive vapour near him when welding.

The accused pleaded guilty.

Outcome Summary Convicted
Conviction Date 31 May 2005
Court Magistrates Court of WA - Mandurah Registry
Fine $10,000
Costs $468.45