$850K fine over fatality; warning over working at heights

$850K fine over fatality; warning over working at heights

A Victorian construction company has been sentenced in the Melbourne County Court over the 2017 workplace death at a construction site in Kalkallo, north of Melbourne.

Seascape Constructions Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that persons other than employees were not exposed to risks to their health and safety, by failing to prepare and conduct work in accordance with a SWMS.

Seascape engaged a carpenter and handyman via Gumtree to complete work at the site. The carpenter was installing flooring and lowered a compressed air nail gun by the air hose when he fell off an unprotected ledge, landing more than three metres below onto a concrete slab. He died at the scene, from head injuries.

It was heard in court that the workers engaged were not supplied with a SWMS before starting the work, nor while undertaking it, and that there were no safety procedures discussed before work commenced.

Julie Nielsen, WorkSafe Victoria Executive Director of Health and Safety explained the importance of all workers being trained, offered appropriate equipment and ensuring adequate supervision.

“Falls from height are a well-recognised safety hazard and are among the biggest killers of Victorian workers,” Ms Nielsen said.

“This death is a tragic reminder that WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute any employer who fails to do all they can to protect their workers’ health and safety.”

Seascape was fined $850,000 and a conviction was recorded.

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