A case brought to the District Court of New South Wales involved a man who owned a business pleading guilty to not properly following safety regulations, and in doing so contributed to the death of a friend who was doing extra work for him.
The deceased was helping the offender install cameras for the offender’s business. According to court records, the deceased had recently lost his job and the offender, who was a friend, was giving him extra work to make some money.
The deceased was on an aluminium ladder drilling a hole to install security cameras on the premises where they were working. The offender had been doing the work on the ladder, and then the two men had traded places. The offender had initially been holding the ladder for the other man, but he then left to do something else on the premises and left the man alone with the task. When the offender returned, the man was lying on the ground unconscious.
The man had fallen 2.4 metres from the ladder and sustained severe injuries that led to death.
The offender admitted that, as a person conducting a business, he had not properly complied with health and safety duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. He admitted that because of his failure to do his duty he exposed the deceased to the risk of death or serious injury.
Mitigating factors for the sentencing of the offender include the fact that he had no record of prior convictions, he is of otherwise good character, he is unlikely to re-offend, he has shown remorse, he has complied with law enforcement and has pled guilty to the charges.
As such, the judge decided that though the offender is convicted, the fine has been reduced by 25 per cent because of the guilty plea. The fine is $60,000 to be paid to the prosecutor, and the offender will pay the prosecutor’s costs of $30,000.
The offender agrees that he will now always undertake a form assessment risk for all new jobs his business takes on, and that if a ladder is to be used, and there is someone else working with him, that he will hold the ladder for the other person at all times.
If you or someone you know has been a victim to a work-related injury and may be able to claim workers’ compensation, contact our experienced legal team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers for a free consultation.