Not safe for work: Every workplace safety prosecution since 2018

But SafeWork SA says the incidence of serious work injuries is on the decline, with fewer workers having to take time off to recover.Included in the figures are some high-profile cases, including site supervisors Luke Chenoweth and Jeffrey Rowe and their employer, Tad-Mar Electrical — all convicted after an apprentice was doused in flammable liquid and set alight in 2017.Some have received less public attention, such as a prosecution against disability services provider Minda after a female worker was sexually assaulted by a client.In a recent annual report, SafeWork SA said it continues to contribute to the national goal of a 30 per cent reduction in the rate of claims resulting in one or more weeks off work.The strategy is being undertaken between 2012 and 2022, but SA is currently exceeding the targeted reduction for the period by 2.2 per cent, the report said.Here are the South Australian individuals and businesses prosecuted by SafeWork SA since 2018. JMA EngineeringA JMA Engineering worker had his hand crushed when it became caught in a de-coiler machine at Berri in March 2019.The man required treatment, including reconstruction of his nailbeds, and spent three days in hospital after the accident.The company, which fabricates stainless steel for winery tanks, pleaded guilty to breaching work health and safety laws and was handed a conviction and a $66,000 fine.The company exposed workers to a risk of serious injury by failing to ensure a safe system of work, and failing to ensure workers maintained a safe distance from the pinch point of the machine.Court/tribunal: SA Employment Tribunal. Offences: Exposed workers to a risk of serious injury by failing to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, a safe system of work and safe working environment. Plea: Guilty. Penalty: Convicted, fined $66,000 plus legal fees.City Demolitions and EarthmovingA worker suffered serious injuries when he was struck by the falling ramp of a low loader trailer in March 2019.The ramps fell suddenly because the hydraulic ramp system failed, after their safety restraint system had been loosened to allow the worker to open a storage box between the ramps.The man was left with fractures to his spine, pelvis, ankles, legs and ribs.City Demolitions and Earthmoving pleaded guilty to failing to provide a safe plant and safe system of work, thereby exposing the man to a risk of death.The company was convicted and fined $133,000, plus legal fees.Court/tribunal: SA Employment Tribunal. Offences: Failing to provide, so far as was reasonably practicable, a safe plant and safe system of work. Plea: Guilty. Penalty: Convicted, fined $133,000 plus legal fees. Matt’s Carpentry and Matthew PincinMatt’s Carpentry was convicted and fined $90,000, and company director Matthew Pincin fined $21,000, after an apprentice worker fell more than three metres.The worker fell onto a concrete surface from the first floor of a residential building in December 2018.He was walking backwards, unrolling building material, when he fell through an unprotected and uncovered hole, where a stairwell was to be installed.The worker, who had been employed by the company for about nine months, was left with spinal and pelvis injuries requiring surgery.Court/tribunal: SA Employment Tribunal. Offences: Matt’s Carpentry 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 ensure appropriate control measures were in place to eliminate or reduce the risk of fall. Matthew Pincin, as the director and supervisor, was charged with failing to ensure appropriate hazard and risk assessment processes were in place for the task to be undertaken.Plea: Both pleaded guilty. Penalty: Matt’s Carpentry was convicted and fined $90,000, Matthew Pincin was convicted and fined $21,000. Both were also required to pay legal fees.WoolworthsSupermarket giant Woolworths was fined $72,000 and voluntarily paid out a further $30,000 for an accident at a northern suburbs store where a bread trolley fell on a worker.The woman had been working at the Salisbury Downs Woolworths for almost 30 years when the trolley wheels jammed, causing the 2m-tall, bread-laden frame to fall on her in August 2018.The accident sparked a nationwide safety overhaul of bread trolleys with warning messages being sent to all 1052 food outlets in the days after the incident.The South Australian Employment Tribunal accepted the absence of inspection procedures for the trolley was a “blind spot” in Woolworths’ otherwise impressive safety procedures.The tribunal heard the worker was moving the trolley laden with bread products into place by pulling it when one of the wheels jammed.Court/tribunal: SA Employment TribunalOffences: Breached its duty by failing to provide any system for the inspection and maintenance of bakery trolleys. Plea: Guilty. Penalty: Convicted, fined $72,000 plus legal fees. GilmacNational hay processing company Gilmac was fined $245,000 for an accident in a baling machine which ended with a worker having both legs amputated below the knee.The 35-year-old man had been working at the company’s Balaklava site since June 2017, mainly on a large hay press which processed hay into bales for later sale.To clear any blockages in the large, custom-made machine, workers were required to pass a metal “bale” consisting of a metre-long beam with metal plates welded to the ends, through the device.The 31.5kg bale would force through any excess hay which was clogging the machinery.In December 2017, the worker was attempting to lace the metal bale in the top of the machine from the mezzanine level, 3m above the ground.The awkward device became caught in piping and the worker attempted to dislodge it. He slipped from the platform on to the weigh table where hay was normally deposited in the top of the machine.The combined weight of the worker and the metal bale triggered the machine, which activated the cutting mechanism used to slice bales to size, and the blade amputated both the worker’s legs below the knee.Court/tribunal: SA Employment Tribunal. Offences: Failed to undertake risk assessment, failed to equip the plant with suitable interlocked guarding, failed to minimise risks that a worker might slip and cause hazardous motion of the actuators, failed to provide a safe means of accessing the weigh tablePlea: Guilty.Penalty: Convicted, fined $245,000 plus legal fees.White Crane and Rigging Service, Ashley WhiteTwo cars were destroyed and a person was narrowly missed when a 130-tonne crane toppled over in December 2017.White Crane and Rigging Service had been engaged to remove pine trees at a home when the crane cables become entangled.Ashley White lowered the boom and overrode the safety switch, which resulted in the crane toppling.“The damage to the vehicles resulted in significant financial loss to the owners’ businesses,” SafeWork SA said.He and the business were both convicted but fines were not issued because of their financial circumstances.Court/tribunal: SA Employment TribunalOffences: White Crane and Rigging Service was charged for failing to adequately plan for the job and failing to ensure the operator completed an adequate job safety analysis. Ashley White was charged with overloading the crane, failing to accurately measure and record data, failing to ensure that the lift was in safe working limits and overriding the crane’s safety function. Plea: Both pleaded guilty. Penalty: Pecuniary penalties were not issued, with the tribunal noting the financial circumstances of the defendants. Had penalties been applied, the company would have been fined $150,000 and Mr White personally fined $15,000. Both were convicted.Zerella HoldingsVirginia vegetable processor Zerella Holdings was fined $210,000 after a worker got his clothing caught in machinery and was dragged into the gears at the bottom of a five metre pit.The 33-year-old man was left with permanent and life changing injuries after the October 2017 accident, including fractures, laceration and friction burns.He had been attempting to clean a pump raised from a potato wash pit but, when he leant over, his clothing was caught in an unguarded rotating agitator shaft and he was dragged into the pit.He was spun around the shaft until all of the clothing on his upper body had been torn off.Zerella Holdings pleaded guilty to breaches of the Work Health and Safety Act and implemented “extensive safety measures and improved staffing” after the incident.Court/tribunal: SA Employment TribunalOffences: Failing to ensure provision and maintenance of a safe plant, failing to ensure there was a safe system of work, failing to prepare a safe operating procedure, failing to provide adequate supervision and failing to adequately train workers.Plea: Guilty.Penalty: Convicted and fined $210,000 plus legal fees. Civil Allied Technical Construction & Lightforce AssetConstruction company Civil and Allied Technical Construction was fined after a worker was crushed to death by an industrial pile driver at a Port Augusta solar farm.Mark Fitzgerald, 49, was trying to drive 4m long piers into the ground at the Bungala construction site when the device jammed in February 2018.As Mr Fitzgerald tried to fix the machine the hammer came loose, crushing him to death.The construction company, which is also known as Catcon, was contracted to help build the 800ha two-stage solar farm.As part of the construction Catcon contracted Lightforce Asset Pty Ltd, which trades as Erections (WA), to supply machinery and specialist operators. Mr Fitzgerald was Lightforce’s most experienced officer.Lightforce was fined $300,000 after discount for early guilty plea, while Catcon was fined $450,000.Court/tribunal: SA Employment TribunalOffences: Lightforce failed to ensure a hazard identification and risk assessment was completed, failing to ensure the worker operated with the guidelines of Safe Work Method Statements and failing to maintain the pile driver as is reasonably practicable and fit for purpose. Civil and Allied Technical Construction failed to use a safe system of work, failing to complete a hazard analysis, failing to prepare a safe operating procedure.Plea: Both companies pleaded guilty. Penalty: Lightforce was fined $300,000 plus legal fees, Civil and Allied Technical Construction was fined $450,000 plus legal fees. Both were convicted.MindaA female employee of disability services provider Minda was sexually assaulted by a client she was visiting in ealy 2018.Minda knew of the risk of sexual assault, SafeWork SA said.The organisation was found to have failed to adequately supervise the client, failed to adequately inform the employee about the risk, and failed to inform the employee of requirements visitors should adhere to when visiting the premises.A conviction and fine of $42,000 was imposed by the SA Employment Tribunal, and Minda was ordered to pay legal costs.Court/tribunal: SA Employment TribunalOffences: Failed to provide adequate supervision of the client, failed to provide adequate information about the risk to the employee, failed to inform the employee of the requirements visitors were to adhere to. Plea: Guilty. Penalty: Convicted, fined $42,000 plus legal fees. H&T Cook Enterprises and Tiarne CookCafe owner Tiarne Cook dodged a conviction after a young hospitality worker was engulfed in flames in a shocking workplace incident.The 21-year-old casual employee was refuelling a decorative fireplace at the Royal Copenhagen ice cream cafe at Brighton when it ignited, leaving her with burns to her face, hands, ears and neck.Company H&T Cook Enterprises and director Ms Cook pleaded guilty to breaches of work health and safety laws following the explosion, which happened in August 2018.The SA Employment Tribunal ordered she pay a fine of $18,000 over the breaches.The business has since been sold, and the new operators have no involvement in the case.Court/tribunal: SA Employment TribunalOffences: H&T Cook Enterprises failed to ensure the burner was refuselled in accordance with operating instructions, failed to provide all workers with written instruction on how to safely refuel the burner, failed to train all workers to refuel the burner, failed to adequately train workers to equrie the burn cool for 30 minutes and failed to supervise refuelling of the burner. Tiarne Cook failed to ensure the company complied with its health and safety duty and failed to train the employee to refuel the burner.Plea: Both pleaded guilty.Penalty: The company would have been convicted and fined $110,000 but the penalty did not apply because the business had shut down. Ms Cook was fined $18,000 but no conviction was recorded.S & AD Basheer NomineesA contractor was injured when he fell through the open and unguarded trapdoors of a cellar in the the gaming room at the Strathmore Hotel, in Adelaide, in August 2013.The worker was employed by Murray Pest and Weed control, a company that had been engaged to perform pest eradication and control maintenance services at the hotel.He suffered a spleen laceration and needed immediate hospital treatment.S & AD Basheer Nominees, who own and operate the hotel, failed to provide and maintain a safe working environment, and failed to provide adequate information and training to employees.They were convicted and fined a total $70,000 for beaching work health and safety laws.Court/tribunal: SA Employment Tribunal.Offences: Failed to maintain a safe working environment, failing to provide adequate information andt raining to employees.Plea: Guilty.Penalty: Conviction, fine of $70,000 plus legal fees.Anthony RosierAnthony Rosier was convicted and fined $8100 after he removed about 94 square metres of asbestos material without the necessary licencing.Rosier also failed to ensure that appropriate signage alerted the public to the presence of asbestos when he removed the material from a home in November 2017.He pleaded guilty in the SA Employment Tribunal to a breach of workplace health and safety laws.Court/tribunal: SA Employment Tribunal.Offences: Failed to hold necessary licence, failed to ensure appropriate signage was in placePlea: Guilty.Penalty: Convicted, fined $8100.Tad-Mar Electrical, Luke Chenoweth, Jeffrey RoweA company and two individual workers were dealt fines over the systematic bullying of a construction apprentice that culminated in him being set alight with flammable liquid.Luke Chenoweth was a site supervisor employed by Tad-Mar Electrical when he squirted fluid onto the apprentice’s boot, pants and shirt at a Woodville site in March 2017.He then set his colleague alight, and took no immediate steps to extinguish the flames on his shirt.Jeffrey Rowe, another site supervisor, took no steps to stop the actions of Chenoweth, and instead squirted more flammable liquid onto the apprentice’s shirt while it was burning.Chenoweth was personally convicted and fined $21,000, and Rowe convicted and fined $12,000, after each pleaded guilty to breaching work health and safety laws.Tad-Mar Electrical was convicted and fined $15,000 for failing to adequately train and supervise workers, and failing to ensure that it had a documented bullying and harassment policy.Court/tribunal: SA Employment Tribunal.Offences: Tad-Mar Electrical failed to ensure health and safety of workers, failed to adequate train and supervise workers, failed to ensure it possessed and made known to workers a documented bullying and harassment policy. Luke Chenoweth acted recklessly as to the risk of death or serious injury. Jeffrey Rowe failed to take steps to stop unsafe behaviour and acted recklessly as to the risk of death or serious injury.Plea: All pleaded guilty.Penalty: Tad-Mar convicted and fined $15,000, Luke Chenoweth convicted and fined $21,000, Jeffrey Rowe convicted and fined $12,000.TC FormworkA TC Formwork worker fractured his leg when he fell 4.4 metres over the exposed edge of formwork at a Windsor Gardens site in December 2016.“Workers at the site were exposed to a risk of death or serious injury because no static line system or fall restraint system had been installed, and workers did not wear harnesses,” SafeWork SA said.The company pleaded guilty to breaches, and was handed a conviction and a fine of $120,000.Court/tribunal: SA Employment Tribunal.Offences: Exposing workers ro risk of death or serious injury.Plea: Guilty.Penalty: Convicted and fined $120,000 plus legal fees.SA PoliceSA Police was fined $390,000 over the death of a cook and cleaner who became trapped in a walk-in freezer at a police training centre in 2016.Debra Summers was working alone at the Adelaide Hills facility when she became trapped and eventually died from hypothermia.“While she was inside the freezer the door was blown shut and the emergency door release inside the freezer was not functioning properly,” SafeWork SA said.Prosecutors told the SA Employment Tribunal issues with the freezer had been unattended to for several years.SA Police pleaded guilty to breaching workplace safety laws by failing to provide a safe work environment and suitable training, instruction and supervision.Court/tribunal: SA Employment Tribunal.Offences: Failed to provide and maintain a safe work environment, failed to provide suitable and adequate information, training, instruction or supervision.Plea: Guilty.Penalty: Convicted, fined $390,000. Simec Zen Technologies (Power and Energy)A Zen Technologies worker suffered burns to the hands, arms and face when an electrical arc occurred at a Tanunda business premises in 2016.Two workers – the other escaped injury – had visited to measure energy consumption and make an assessment as to a suitable energy storage system, with a view to the business going off-grid.Zen Technologies did not have adequate hazard identification and risk assessment processes in place, and had not adequately documented safe work procedures.The company pleaded guilty to several law breaches and received a conviction and a $114,000 fine.Court/tribunal: SA Employment Tribunal.Offences: Failed to have in place adequate hazard identification and risk assessment processes, failed to have adequate documented safe work procedures.Plea: Guilty.Penalty: Convicted, fined $114,000 plus legal fees.Jarred and Callan MacGillivrayJarred and Callan MacGillivray were fined after 17-year-old carpentry apprentice Clyde Norris was killed on a Fullarton construction site in August 2016.Clyde suffered fatal crush injuries when a 13-metre section of propped timber framing fell over, striking him in the head and chest.The MacGillivrays failed to require that all props used as temporary bracing be nail-fixed at the top of a stud or top plate of the wall frame.They also failed to ensure the base of the timber framework was adequately secured to the slab, the ground or some other immovable object.Both pleaded guilty, and each was fined $105,000. The court also ordered a total $50,000 in compensation be paid to Clyde’s family.Court/tribunal: SA Employment Tribunal.Offences: Both failed to ensure their workers used a safe system of work to minimise the risk of falling.Plea: Both pleaded guilty.Penalty: Convicted and fined $105,000 each.JT Johnson and SonsA worker at JT Johnson and Sons was fatally crushed in a door while undertaking machine maintenance work at a Kapunda hay plant in October 2012.The company was found guilty of multiple breaches of work safety laws, convicted and, in 2018, fined $225,000.Court/tribunal: SA Employment Tribunal.Offences: Failed to provide a maintain a safe plant, failed to provide a safe system of workPlea: Not guilty but found guilty at trial.Penalty: Conviction ad $225,000 fine.Laszlo Bajtek, Pro-Pac PackagingLaszlo Bajtek pleaded guilty to multiple breaches of work safety laws after a worker was seriously injured by a moving forklift in June 2015.He was contracted with Pro-Pac Packaging to provide workers who were to help unload shipping containers.Bajtek was convicted and fined $96,000, but he was not required to pay after a magistrate found he did not have the financial means.Court/tribunal: Magistrates CourtOffences: Laszlo Bajtek failed to ensure a safe system of work, failed to ensure information, training and instruction was provided. Pro-Pac Packaging failed to ensure a safe system of work, which minimised the risk of pedestrians coming into contact with a moving forkliftPlea: Both pleaded guiltyPenalty: Laszlo Bajtek was convicted and fined $96,000 but was not required to pay.

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