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A Grocon subsidiary has been fined $250,000 following a wall collapse in March 2013 that killed three bystanders.

The Victorian WorkCover Authority prosecuted Grocon Victoria Street Pty Ltd for its part in the wall collapse at the company’s Swanston Street building site in Melbourne.

Late last month, Grocon pleaded guilty in the Magistrates Court to breaching Victoria’s work health and safety (WHS) laws.

Following sentencing, Daniel Grollo, executive chairman of Grocon, said in a media statement: “I personally, along with all of the directors and employees of Grocon, today reiterate our deep regret at the tragic and untimely loss of Bridget and Alexander Jones and Marie-Faith Fiawoo.”

The CFMEU said the fine was “a slap on the wrist”.

“Our thoughts are very much with the families of Alexander and Bridget and Marie-Faith, and all those whose lives have been scarred forever,” said John Setka, CFMEU secretary, in a media statement following sentencing.

Late last month, Aussie Signs Pty Ltd was committed to trial for its part in the incident. It had been contracted to attach hoarding to the wall.

For more details visit Grocon and the CFMEU

Published on 4 December 2014 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin

A New Zealand Forestry company has been prosecuted after a log weighing more than a tonne slid down a hillside and hit a worker.

The company, HarvestPro New Zealand Limited, was prosecuted in the Gisborne District Court recently for breaching the New Zealand Health and Safety in Employment Act.

The incident occurred in September 2012 when the log came loose from the jaws of a loader and slid down a steep hillside, said WorkSafe New Zealand in a media statement.

The worker sustained “fractures to his arm and leg that have required multiple surgeries and left him unable to work”, Worksafe said.

“The accident was caused by the decision to allow Mr Henare [the worker] to enter the danger zone at the same time that another worker was using the loader to stack logs on the landing above him,” WorkSafe said, in noting Judge Adeane’s findings.

The court fined the company $80,000 and ordered it to pay $40,000 in reparations.

For more details, visit WorkSafe NZ.

Published on 19 June 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

An ACT company director has become the first officer of a corporation charged under the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws.

The charges follow an incident in which a truck driver died from an electric shock in 2012, says a Norton Rose Fulbright report.

The director has been charged under the ACT WHS Act for failing to exercise due diligence to ensure Kenoss Contractors complied with its WHS duties and failing to comply with his health and safety duty, the report says. He faces a potential maximum penalty of $300,000.

Although he has been charged in connection with Kenoss Contractors, the accused was not a director of this company, but a director of a related company, the report adds.

The case goes to trial in December. The director has already pleaded not guilty in an earlier mention of the case last week.

Kenoss Contractors has also been charged with breaching the ACT WHS Act in connection with the same incident. However, the company has gone into liquidation and the court will need to determine if the prosecution can go ahead, the report noted.

Since this report, the court has decided the prosecution of the liquidated company can proceed. The case will be heard at the same time as the director’s case, according to The Canberra Times.

The corporation faces a potential maximum penalty of $1.5 million.

For more details, visit Norton Rose Fulbright.

Published on 19 June 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

A UK building company has been prosecuted after a worker was burnt and placed in an induced coma.

The worker was “removing electrical equipment from a basement wall on 1 August 2012 believing it all to be safely disconnected”, when he severed a 415-volt electrical cable, the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said in a media statement.

He sustained severe and extensive burns, was in an induced coma for two weeks, and hospitalised for several weeks, and continues to live with psychological problems and pain, the HSE added.

The HSE investigated the incident and found that Acton-based “Dray Building Ltd had failed to provide suitable signage highlighting the live cable, had failed to provide barriers around the work equipment for other suitable safety measures. Had these requirements been met, then the accident could not have happened in the way that it did”.

Dray Building Ltd of Dephna House, North Acton Road, London was prosecuted in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court for breaching UK construction regulations.

It was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £9,882 in costs.

For more detail, visit the HSE.

Published on 23 April 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Three John Holland entities face action in the Federal Court of Australia following a fatal workplace incident in Perth.

According to Comcare John Holland Pty Ltd, John Holland Group Pty Ltd and John Holland Rail Pty Ltd are alleged to have breached Commonwealth work health and safety laws when an employee of John Holland Group Pty Ltd was hit and killed by an out of control hi-rail vehicle in December 2011.

The incident happened at a John Holland Pty Ltd workplace and the hi-rail vehicle had been manufactured by John Holland Rail Pty Ltd.

“We have a collective need to address the protections afforded to workers to prevent such terrible loss in the future,” Comcare Regulatory Operations General Manager, Neil Quarmby said.

John Holland Pty Ltd and John Holland Rail Pty Ltd have been penalised for work health and safety breaches in the past, Comcare says.

For these latest allegations, each entity faces a maximum penalty of $242 000.

For more details, visit Comcare.

Published on 13 March 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.


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