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Prosecution Details

Defendant Geotechnical Services Pty Ltd
Trading Name Not Applicable
Section 19(1)(a) & 19(1)(b)
Regulation Not Applicable
Offence Date Friday, 13 September 1996
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer, failed to provide and maintain a working environment in which its employees were not exposed to hazards and, in particular, failed to provide and maintain a system of work such that, so far as was practicable, its employees were not exposed to hazards and failed to provide such instruction and training to its employees as was necessary to enable them to perform their work in such a manner that they were not exposed to hazards.

Background Details

Two employees were dismantling a fume cupboard extraction system. The extraction system was located just outside the line of the eaves and outside the eastern wing of the building. The extraction system consisted of inlet and outlet ducting connected to a fan unit which was mounted on a concrete slab. The outlet ducting formed a vertical stack which sat on top of the fan unit. The vertical stack consisted of two sections each approximately 2 metres long. The top section fitted into a flange on the bottom section.

The top section had to be separated from the bottom section and then lowered to the ground. The employees had been instructed not to break any of the equipment as it was to be reused.

One employee was working on the roof and another was operating the forklift truck. One employee climbed onto the roof by climbing from the forklift seat to the mast, to the forklift cage and then to the roof. The forks of the forklift were closed so that they were on either side and touching the top section of the extraction system. The top section was fixed to the tines. The employee on the roof stepped off the roof and onto the tines so he could steady the top section as the tines were lowered to the ground. The roof was approximately 2.9 metres off the ground. The tines were lowered slowly and when they had reached approximately 2.2 metres off the ground the carriage and tines dropped to the ground. The employee was still standing on the tines as it hit the ground and felt severe pain in both legs. He was subsequently diagnosed as having a fractured talus in his right angle.

Outcome Summary convicted
Conviction Date 19 Nov 1997
Court Perth Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $500
Costs $627
Charge Number 49984/97