1 min read

Two companies face millions in fines over drowning death

Two Perth-based companies are facing fines of up to $4.7 million following the drowning death of a plumber at a construction site in 2018.

The plumber was working in a 2-by-1-metre trench when it suddenly filled with water and sand after a mains water pipe burst.

The plumbing company, trading as Vivian Plumbing and Civil, has been charged with failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment and causing the death of an employee. It faces a maximum penalty of $2.7 million.

The principal that engaged the contractor, Badge Constructions (WA) Pty Ltd, has also been charged over the incident. It faces a maximum penalty of $2 million.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Darren Kavanagh said this was the first case to be initiated under increased penalties that were introduced in 2018.

“Vivian Plumbing and Civil and Badge Constructions face significant penalties, as should be the case when a young worker has tragically lost his life,” Mr Kavanagh said.

“Vivian Plumbing has been charged with gross negligence in relation to this incident, the most serious offence possible under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”

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