PNA Property Developments Pty Ltd pleaded guilty that a person who had a health and safety duty failed to comply with that duty and thereby exposed an employee.
Viewland Developments Pty Ltd engaged PNA as a principal contractor to build a multi-storey residential apartment block, underground carpark and commercial area.
District Court Judge Andrew Scotting, concluded that the offence was one of ‘some objective gravity’ and that the ‘risk was actually known to the offender, but not effectively communicated to the workers. The covering of the penetration could have been easily marked and either covered with a solid covering, or securely barricaded off. Further, the instructions provided by Mark Akkari on site directly to the workers were inadequate to point out to them the latent danger that existed. It should have been apparent to Mark Akkarithat the workers might step inside the shaft in the process of performing the task and in particular, installing the lintel.’
Judge Scotting went on to state that the offender did not have a SWMS in place for the high risk construction work that was undertaken and the workers were not adequately inducted onto the site. The documentary procedures the offender had in place were not complied with.
Judge Scotting stated that the offenders could have taken simple steps and inexpensive steps to prevent the incident. Judge Scotting convicted the offender fining it $180,000 as well as legal costs of $18,000.
Judge Scotting also fined Mark Mr Jiang (the director of Yaofu Pty Ltd) $22,500, as he failed to communicate the known safety risk to his staff.