Fall from incomplete scaffold injures plasterer
WorkSafe Victoria v Precision Plastering (Vic) Pty Ltd (2016)
Precision Plastering (Vic) Pty Ltd (Company) was engaged by a principal contractor to undertake plastering works for the construction of two adjoining residential double-storey townhouses.
On 8 September 2015, a subcontractor engaged by the Company fell from a height of approximately 2.1 metres from incomplete scaffold while transporting plaster sheets to the top level of one of the units. He broke a vertebra in his neck and fractured his skull.
The Magistrates’ Court heard evidence that there was no passive fall protection device such as complete scaffolding with edge protection at every open edge of the scaffold. As such, there remained a significant risk of death or serious injury.
The Company was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of $25,000.
Employers must ensure that structures, including scaffolding, are erected and maintained in a safe manner that removes the risk of falls from height. It is important that all structures used in the workplace have undergone a risk assessment to ensure that risks of injury are controlled or eliminated.
Please note: Case law is reported as correct and current at time of publishing. Be aware that cases in lower courts may be appealed and decisions subsequently overturned.
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