Companies fined after electrician severely injured in fall

Date: Jul 10, 2013

A 2009 incident in which a 22-year-old electrician fell from a height onto a concrete floor, suffering serious injuries as a result, has led to two companies and a company director being fined for neglecting the safety of their workers.

The electrician was working inside a townhouse under construction when he fell through a first-floor opening and landed on the concrete floor below.

He received severe head injuries, multiple brain haemorrhages, several spinal fractures and fractured his left collarbone.

A subsequent WorkCover NSW investigation into the construction company building the townhouses and the subcontractor undertaking the electrical work at the premises found that both had breached the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2000.

Each of the parties under investigation plead guilty and have been fined a total of $147,000.

WorkCover NSW acting general manager of Work Health and Safety Division Peter Dunphy said it was clear that safety precautions were lacking at the site.

"Had there been adequate safety measures in place to stop someone from accidentally falling through this opening, these serious injuries would probably never have happened," said Mr Dunphy in a July 8 statement.

He says that the safety measures needed to prevent this sort of accident are not at all difficult to implement, and that the absence of any sort of fall protection – such as a handrail, void platform or other sort of barrier – represented a failure to properly manage the risks of the work environment.

"This is an important reminder of the need to maintain proper safety protocols. These companies did not do this and as a consequence a young man has been very seriously injured."

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