Source: Safe to Work
Two companies and a director were convicted yesterday after a 21 year-old
worker on a building site suffered an electric shock when he came into
contact with overhead powerlines.
The 2008 incident occurred despite warnings from the network electricity
supplier to the company responsible for the site, Hometec Industries Pty
Ltd, and director Carmine Salvatore.
Yesterday at the Melbourne Magistrate's Court, Hometec and Mr Salvatore
were convicted and fined $30,000 and $20,000 respectively.
Roofing and installation company CSR Building Products Limited was also
convicted and ordered to pay $12,500 to the Institute for Safety,
Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) at Monash University, for
failing adequately train and supervise workers installing the roofing.
CSR Building Products had engaged the injured worker's employer and brother
Mark Watson, who was convicted and fined $8,000 earlier this year for
failing to perform a job safety analysis, which considered hazards
The incident occurred when the injured worker was helping install a roof on
a Neerim South domestic construction site, when he made contact with an
overhead powerline. He suffered serious burn injuries to his right and left
hands and left foot.
"What has happened here is a number of failures in a chain of
responsibility," WorkSafe's Executive Director for Health and Safety Ian
"Hometec and its director were warned about the no-go zone by the
electricity supplier and ordered to stop construction work, yet they failed
to do so.
"CSR Building Products had a responsibility to make sure their contractors
could do their job safely - which they failed to uphold.
"And the worker's direct employer, Mark Watson, had an obligation to make
sure the construction site was safe by performing a job safety analysis,
which considered risks including powerlines.
"None of these parties managed to fulfil their responsibilities. The upshot
of all of this is that a young worker suffered debilitating injuries with
long recovery times," Mr Forsyth said.