Becon Constructions (Australia) Pty Ltd (The Accused) was the principal contractor for the construction of a Caltex service station in Sebastopol. It engaged a family partnership (the co-accused) to supply and install roof plumbing works to the service station canopy. The co-accused engaged two workers to assist in the roofing works. The Accused hired two 60 foot (18.3 metre) boom-type elevated work platforms (‘EWP’) for use at the workplace, and maintained management and control of the EWPs at all relevant times. On 13 August 2014 a VWA inspector observed the two workers operating the EWPs. When the inspector asked to see their high risk work licenses to operate the plant, they informed him that they were unlicensed.

The Accused has a safe work method statement (‘SWMS’) that applied to operation of EWPs stating that unlicensed persons should never operate EWPs. The Accused failed to ensure, in accordance with regulation 3.6.1 and Schedule 3 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007, as well as its own SWMS, that only operators with a current high risk work licence to operate boom-type EWPs (boom length greater than 11 metres) were provided with access to the EWPs under its management and control.

The defendant pleaded guilty and was, without conviction, sentenced to pay a fine of $3,500 and to pay costs of $3,317 (Magistrates’ Court at Ballarat).

Court: Magistrates' Court

Fine: $3,500.00

Costs: $3,317.00

Source: Worksafe Victoria

Date of Outcome: 27/10/2015