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Prosecution Details

Defendant Debri Pty Ltd
Trading Name R & K Installations
Section 19(1) and 19(7)
Offence Date Tuesday, 16 March 2004
Description of Breach(es)

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

Background Details

At all material times the Accused was in the business of roof plumbing.

Sometime prior to February 2004 Logan Parker Constructions (WA) Pty Ltd sub-contracted the Accused to carry out roof plumbing on a building that it had been engaged to build in Henderson. On 16 March 2004 a director of the Accused, instructed two employees to climb onto the roof and to each use a rope to pull skylights up from the ground onto the open edge of the roof. They were then to stack the skylights near the open edge and the parapet wall that was on the east section of the roof. The distance from the roof to the ground was at least 9 metres.

The director said that he would stay on the ground and tie the ropes around each individual skylight so that the employees could pull it up onto the roof when he signalled to them that he had finished tying the rope around the skylight. The employees each climbed onto the roof with a rope, stood on the open northern facing section of the roof and began the process of pulling each individual skylight up onto the roof.

Whilst one of the employees was standing at the open edge of the roof he was clipped on the back of the legs by a skylight that was blown off the stack of skylights that he and the other employee had pulled up onto the roof. This caused him to fall over the edge of the roof.

The employee landed with his right leg on a concrete drain and his left leg in the sand that surrounded the drain. The roof sheet fell onto the ground after him. An ambulance was called and he was taken to Fremantle hospital. As a result of the fall both of his ankles, his right knee, his left wrist and his spine were fractured and he has permanently lost 5% of the use of his left wrist, both ankles, and his right knee, and 45% to 50% of the use of his back. As a result he will never be able to resume his pre-accident employment.

At the date of the accident the other had been working for the Accused for about 3 months, and the injured employee had been working for the Accused for about 4 weeks. Neither of them had any experience working at heights or with any type of fall injury prevention system. The Accused did not:

a. Provide them with adequate training in the use of a fall injury prevention system; and/or
b. Ensure that a competent person continually supervised them while they used the inadequate and/or partial fall injury prevention system.

The Accused was found guilty.

Outcome Summary Convicted
Conviction Date 12 Mar 2007
Court Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Perth
Fine $40,000
Costs $13,493.12
Charge Number 36064/05