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January 2020

Failure to enforce safe systems of work

WorkSafe v IKC Sheds Pty Ltd (2015)

Facts

IKC Sheds carries out steel manufacturing, including manufacturing steel sheds. On 30 August 2012, a worker suffered injuries when he fell through the roof of a shed he was working on. The roof contained a polycarbonate roof sheet, which the worker was kneeling on when it gave way.

Judgment

The Magistrates Court convicted the company for failing to ensure that its processes for safely installing roof sheets were properly followed and, in particular, for failing to ensure that the worker in question had received training in the correct process.

The Court reduced a fine of $145,000 to $87,000 due to the business’s guilty plea. After further considering the company’s ability to pay the fine, it was reduced to $10,000.

Lessons

You need to ensure that any safe systems of work are enforced. This requires you to make sure that workers receive adequate training and instruction in the risks involved in the tasks and the correct processes to be followed to eliminate those risks.

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