Moama manufacturer fined after worker suffers spinal injuries

Ministerial Media Release | 30/11/2017

A Moama houseboat manufacturer has been fined $61,500 after a worker suffered severe injuries when he fell onto concrete while working on a roof.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean, in Albury today for a community cabinet meeting, said the worker engaged by Travis Ross Brown, 35, of Moama, undertook roofing work without a safety harness in 2015.

Brown was fined $60,000 in the Sydney District Court on November 24 after pleading guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of workers, and $1,500 for failing to notify SafeWork NSW of the incident, as required under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Mr Kean said the injured man, then 37, fell nearly three metres onto a compressor before then falling onto a concrete floor.

“This poor man fractured five ribs, punctured a lung and fractured two vertebrae in an incident that still causes him pain more than two years on,” Mr Kean said.

“Not only could this terrible incident have been avoided if the right equipment and training been in place but, Brown also failed to notify SafeWork afterwards.”

A SafeWork investigation revealed a lack of systems, policies or procedures for working from heights that exposed workers to serious injury or death.

“Employers need to realise they cannot get away with behaviour that puts their workers at risk of this sort of serious injury – it’s just not on,” Mr Kean said.

The court result also comes as SafeWork NSW continues its year-long safety blitz targeting construction sites across the state to ensure workers are properly protected.

Last year SafeWork NSW successfully prosecuted 32 offenders and issued 130 penalty notices.

Brown has 28 days to lodge an appeal.

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