Source: Safe at Work
Auto component maker Monroe Australia has been
fined more than $30,000 last Monday for failing to provide and maintain a
safe system of work after an employee was injured in 2008 while
performing a task that was determined to be unsafe and later found to be
The incident occurred at the company's Clovelly Park premises, where it
manufactures shock absorbers and associated products.
Monroe had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of breaching section 19(1)
of the Occupational Health Safety and Welfare Act 1986 in that it failed
to provide and maintain a safe system of work.
The employee, a storeman at the facility, was concussed and injured his
neck and back after falling backwards three metres onto a concrete floor.
The employee eventually returned to full duties despite ongoing hearing
The task that led to the employee's injury involved constantly climbing a
ladder to hook slings to bundles of steel tubing stacked high in
stillages, so that they could be moved by crane for cutting. The
storeman was engaged in this task, when the incident occurred.
The prosecution's case was about the system of work which necessitated
the ladders use.
The industrial court was told that after the incident, the system of work
was modified to place the stillages at ground level, which eliminated the
use of ladders altogether.
The magistrate said constant use of the ladder in the system that
prevailed at the time placed an employee at risk of significant injury.
The company was fined $33,750, after a discount of 25% to acknowledge the
company's cooperation, contrition, assistance to the injured worker and
SafeWork SA acting executive director, Bryan Russell said the ease with
which the hazard of the ladder was eliminated after the event shows what
could have been achieved had a proper safety evaluation been done
Monroe is a manufacturer and supplier of shock absorber and ride control
products for the Australia and New Zealand market.