Company fined $40,000 after worker trapped under gate

On 3rd April, Build Tech Hoardings Pty Ltd was held accountable in the Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court for failing to safeguard those other than employees from risks to their health and safety. This breach resulted in a fine, executed without conviction, while also necessitating payment of $4132 in costs.

Build Tech Hoardings found themselves contracted to modify entry gates at Brighton’s job site in June 2022. Merely within two days post-completion, an unfortunate incident occurred involving a site traffic control worker being trapped by her ankle when the gate fell off its track as she tried closing it. Her immediate cry for aid led to her rescue and swift hospitalisation, where she was treated for a broken and dislocated ankle, contusions, and various minor injuries.

The subsequent WorkSafe examination unveiled that the steel stopper atop the gate, meant to prevent the gate from exceeding its steel support barriers, had been irresponsibly removed during alterations and not reinstalled. It was feasibly practicable for Build Tech Hoardings to have preserved a safe work system which comprises of creating and applying a checklist to facilitate with inspecting the gate. Additionally, a qualified engineer should have reassured the gate’s return to operational use following the company’s Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS). This instance strongly underscores the value of having reliable work safety products like the Bluesafe WHS Management System for organisations.

“The failures exposed a worker to an avoidable and traumatic ordeal,” commented Dr Narelle Beer, WorkSafe’s Executive Director of Health and Safety. She further stated how this particular incident affirms the critical need for employers to implement a Bluesafe SWMS, especially for high-risk construction work, and adhere strictly to its guidelines.

While undertaking High Risk Construction Work (HRCW), duty holders must thoroughly abide by their rigorous WHS management systems, policies, and in-depth SWMS, ensuring they decisively alleviate all potential risks involved.

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