19 December 2018

Local building company slapped with $25k fines after WorkSafe ACT investigation

| Lachlan Roberts
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Work safety

Lifestyle Homes was found to have breached safety legislation in October 2017.

A local residential building company has been slapped with three convictions and $25,000 worth of fines by the ACT Magistrates Court after breaching the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 at a residential construction site in Coombs last year.

As part of a joint proactive inspection program by WorkSafe ACT and Safe Work NSW focused on falls from heights, Lifestyle Homes was found to have breached safety legislation in October 2017.

WorkSafe ACT said the company had failed to provide appropriate fall protection on stair voids and scaffolding, had not provided safe electrical installations at the construction site, had allowed someone to undertake high-risk work without an appropriate licence and had failed to keep the workplace in a condition that allowed persons to safely enter and exit the site in case of an emergency.

The company, which was founded in 2010 and is based in Kingston, had also failed to have any secure barriers installed on its scaffolding to prevent objects from falling off, had not provided fall protection on internal stair voids to prevent persons from falling and had no accurate signage on the site fencing identifying the principal contractor and their contact details.

ACT Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones said the ACT Magistrates Court decision sends a clear message to the industry that action will be taken by WorkSafe ACT when serious safety issues are detected.

“Such non-compliance will not be tolerated by WorkSafe ACT and strong regulatory action will be taken where appropriate and proportionate, including court action,” he said.

“It was fortunate that the breaches were detected as part of WorkSafe’s proactive inspection activity before someone was seriously hurt or killed.”

Commissioner Jones said WorkSafe ACT will continue to focus on falls from heights, electrical issues as well as keeping our young workers safe.

“My message to industry is to make safety a priority not only in the lead up to the end of the year but also in 2019 – as WorkSafe inspectors will be on the ground holding those employers flouting safety to account.”

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