NSW roofing company fined after asbestos sheeting collapse

NSW roofing company fined after asbestos sheeting collapse

An NSW roofing company has been convicted and fined close to half a million dollars over two incidents at workspaces at Moorebank that occurred three years ago.

In the first incident, a worker was handling a metal handrail when it connected with nearby powerlines. Head of SafeWork NSW, Natasha Mann, explained that “tragically, the 25-year-old sustained a fatal electric shock and his colleague received serious burns to his legs after he rushed to the aid of his co-worker.”

It was heard in court that the risk from the overhead powerlines was known by Prime Metal Roofing, and workers of the company had raised concerns about their proximity to the site.

“Despite this, young and relatively inexperienced workers were put at risk because Prime Metal had failed to check if the principal contractors had proper safety systems in place,” Ms Mann said.

“Just over two weeks later, another three workers, subcontracted by Prime Metal, were injured when the roof they were on collapsed under the weight of piles of asbestos roof sheets, at a separate worksite.

“Two workers fell about four metres through the roof onto the concrete below, while a third worker on the roof was also injured.”

Prime Metal pled guilty last year to all charges. Perry’s Roofing was convicted and sentenced for its role in both incidents, along with Riverwall Constructions for the electrical risk matter. The company associated with the work that led to the roof collapse is still before the courts.

Ms Mann reminded employers that it is their duty “to ensure that employees are provided with adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to perform their work safely.”

“If you’re operating as a subcontractor, that includes ensuring these responsibilities are not simply offloaded to another business. “The law specifically states that work health and safety duties cannot be delegated and an employer cannot just shrug its shoulders and say, ‘someone else will look after safety’.”

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