Contractors should be aware of the consequences of failing to provide workers with a safe system of work and safe working environment, as a roofing contractor in Mandurrah recently learned.
The roofer was discovered allowing workers to operate from a height without the proper fall protection when a WorkSafe inspector visited the site in 2011.
The roofing contractor was fined $2500 in the Mandurah Magistrates Court last week for the offence.
The inspector visiting the site noticed a worker operating near the edge of a roof on the site without any fall injury prevention system and the roof had no edge protection. The contractor was not a first time offender and had been warned in 2005 and 2008 about allowing workers to work from heights without the appropriate fall protection.
Other businesses should learn from this incident if they want to avoid similar fines and perhaps even fatalities on their worksite, a fate this contractor was lucky enough to escape.
Read what happened according to an article on SafetyCulture.com.au:
The contractor pleaded guilty to failing to provide adequate fall prevention where there was a risk that a person could fall two metres or more, and was fined in the Mandurah Magistrates Court last week.
In May 2011 the worker was seen by a WorkSafe inspector working near the edge of the roof of a single-storey tilt-up panel warehouse. He was not wearing any fall injury prevention system and had no edge protection. He was issued a Prohibition Notice.
He was previously issued with five Prohibition Notices between 2005 and 2008 in relation to working at heights without proper fall prevention system.
WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch was disappointed that there are still people who are not taking risks of falls seriously.
According to WorkSafe WA Commissioner, it is sad that the employer as well as the worker disregarded safety. Obviously many workers do not think something serious will happen to them and so it is just quicker to leave fall protection out of the situation but workers need to protect themselves, especially if their employers are not going to. The time sent setting up a fall protection system could save their life.
Employees should not be afraid to speak up about safety issues, since it is their lives at stake, especially when it comes to hazards as common and serious as falls. According to the Commissioner falls caused a large number of workplace deaths and 16 workers in Western Australia alone have died because of falls in the last four years, sad when you consider that most of these deaths were preventable.
He goes on to state in the post:
“Falls are almost always readily preventable, and it need not be difficult or costly to ensure that safe systems of work are in place at all times.
“A Code of Practice on fall prevention has existed in WA for more than 20 years. The current code is comprehensive, providing information on the identification of common fall hazards.
“I urge any person or entity in control of a workplace that presents a risk of falls to ensure safe systems of work in place and that this code is available in the workplace at all times.”