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Kenoss Contractors has been fined $1.1 million following the death of a truck driver.

The sentence was handed down in the ACT Magistrates Court last week, according to The Canberra Times and ABC media reports.

The truck driver was electrocuted on a Kenoss Contractors worksite in Canberra in 2012.

The company was found guilty of breaching the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (ACT) in the ACT Magistrates Court in June. During the same hearing, the charge against Kenoss project manager Munir al-Hasani (ie, that he was an officer of the corporation and failed to exercise due diligence to prevent the failings of the corporate defendant) was dismissed.

Despite the large fine imposed on the company, it won’t be paid because the company went into liquidation before the case was heard.

“On [the] one hand, this is disappointing [because] there’s a dead worker at the end of this tale, but on the other hand, this is a very strong warning to company leaders right around the country,” ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe was quoted in The Canberra Times.

The sentence is yet to be published online.

For more details on the June verdict, visit the ACT Magistrates Court

Published on 27 August 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email.  Subscribe online today.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has been fined $220,000 following the shooting of two soldiers.

The fine was handed down in the Federal Court of Australia in Canberra last week.

During a night training exercise at the Cultana Training Area near Whyalla, South Australia, in October 2009, a Special Forces soldier was fatally shot in the head and another soldier was wounded by a gunshot to his left arm.

Among the findings, the Court heard that the ADF training manual failed to require that a risk management plan or risk assessment be prepared for each separate training exercise. This led to the implementation of inadequate risk management and assessment, particularly when live ammunition was used and fired.

Also, a number of the individuals failed to meet their employment standards. “Those failures mainly concerned the miscommunications caused by the last-minute briefings and the failure to ensure that appropriately qualified persons were appointed to the relevant tasks involved in the exercises and had been fully and adequately briefed by other appropriately qualified persons,” said Justice Lindsay Foster in his judgment.

The case reinforced the need for employers to take every practicable step to ensure the safety of their workforce, Comcare CEO Jennifer Taylor said in a media statement.

“This is particularly important for work that is inherently dangerous, as is the case with many tasks performed by Defence personnel,” she added.

For more details, visit the case

Published on 27 August 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email.  Subscribe online today.

A Western Australian company has been fined $180,000 after two of its workers fell from a scissor lift and were seriously injured.

The scissor lift platform basket in which the two workers had been operating was elevated to about 10 metres when an overhead crane hit it in February 2013, according to a WorkSafe media statement.

One of the workers stayed in the basket as the scissor lift fell to the ground. The other worker grabbed the overhead crane as it passed by, but he eventually fell to the ground.

The worker who stayed in the basket sustained arm, shoulder and rib fractures and a punctured lung. The other worker dislocated his arm and leg and fractured his arm, leg, foot, pelvis and lumbar spine.

HVLV Pty Ltd (in liquidation) was prosecuted in the Midland Magistrates Court for breaching the WA Occupational Safety and Health Act. The company was fined $180,000 and ordered to pay costs of $784. It was convicted on 4 August 2015.

“Although the company is in liquidation, it was considered important to prosecute the company and have a conviction recorded as a deterrent to others,” WorkSafe WA Acting Executive Director Ian Munns said in a media statement.

“Other employers in the same or similar industries need to appreciate that if safety measures are not taken, they will be liable to prosecution and substantial penalties.”

For more details, visit WorkSafe WA

Published on 13 August 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter

The owners of an American roofing company have been released from jail on bonds, on the proviso they pay outstanding occupational health and safety (OHS) fines and rectify alleged OHS violations.

Guillermo Perez and Elma Maldonado, president and vice-president of GP Roofing & Construction, LLC, Palm Coast, Florida, allegedly wilfully and repeatedly violated US Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) fall protection, eye and face protection, safe ladder and other standards, according to an OSHA media release.

They were arrested on 16 June after they failed to pay OSHA fines of US$195,170 plus interest and fees, and failed to rectify the alleged OSHA violations, OSHA said. They appeared before Magistrate Judge James Klindt, US District Court, Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville.

They were released from custody on 23 June on signature bonds. “Conditions of their release included surrendering Perez’s passport and limiting their travel to the state of Florida,” OSHA said.

“Perez and Maldonado were also given 30 days to work on paying all outstanding penalties or demonstrating inability to pay and certifying that they have abated the OSHA violations cited in prior inspections.”

The final hearing is scheduled for 26 August 2015.

For more details, visit OSHA

Published on 2 July 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.

A Victorian abattoir has been convicted and fined $250,000 following the death of a driver in September 2013.

The driver was using a hoist on the loading ramp at the abattoir when the hoist broke apart above him and the ramp collapsed, said WorkSafe Victoria in a media statement. He sustained severe head injuries and died several weeks later.

The abattoir in Stawell was prosecuted and pleaded guilty for breaching Victorian occupational health and safety (OHS) laws.

Leanne Hughson, Acting Executive Director of Health and Safety at WorkSafe Victoria, said in a media statement that the design of the hoist, a lack of maintenance and poor driver training in relation to the loading ramp and hoist contributed to the incident.

“The court heard that when a new loading ramp and safety mechanism was installed at the abattoir in 2010, the hoist lug was moved 300mm. However, the new position made it more susceptible to fatigue damage, stress and corrosion,” WorkSafe said in a media statement.

On top of this, the company had failed to get an expert opinion before moving the lug, failed to regularly inspect the hoist system, and failed to put in place a system to train, direct or induct drivers in the use of the loading ramp and hoist, Worksafe added.

For more details, visit WorkSafe Victoria

Published on 18 June 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.


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