Safety Alert – Important Update From SafeworkSA
August 4, 2021

SafeWork SA  – WHS Prosecution – A company was fined $90,000 after apprentice fell three meters

You may recall in December 2018 an apprentice carpenter fell over three metres onto a concrete surface from the first floor of a residential building.

SafeWork SA investigations identified that had a safe work method statement and pre-start checks been undertaken in relation to controlling the risks of working at live edges, that the incident with the apprentice could have easily been avoided.

The company failed to identify the risk of falls and no fall protection had been installed prior to the work task being undertaken.

The company was charged with failing to:

  • Provide and maintain a safe working environment
  • Ensure a safe system of work for the task undertaken
  • Perform an adequate risk assessment and identify the hazard of working near an unguarded void
  • Ensure appropriate control measures were in place to eliminate or reduce the risk of fall.

The company pleading guilty, and received a 40% discount, but the total fine cost this company $90,000. In addition to this, the Director / Supervisor was fined $21,000 plus costs.

Safety Alert – Workers injured in separate trench collapses

According to SafeWork SA data, 40 files have been opened since 1 July 2021 associated with incidents involving excavation work.

Two separate incidents have occurred recently resulting in workers being trapped when trenches have collapsed.
Of the 40 files:

  • 13 relate to exposure to open trenches
  • 4 relate to inadequate shoring of trenches
  • 3 relate to the collapse of trenches.

SafeWork SA has developed new guidance information on preventing trench collapse to help manage the risks of ground collapse, associated with excavation work.

Stay Safe,

The Team from PEER


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