Owner fined over building site fall

Augusta Margaret River Times
Brookfield Estate, Margaret River.
Camera IconBrookfield Estate, Margaret River.

A Margaret River owner-builder has copped a significant fine in the Margaret River Magistrate’s Court after an incident in 2019 in which a worker fell from a second-storey roof.

The man was fined $25,000 for the incident on Monday, May 17, after an investigation by WorkSafe.

He pleaded guilty to failing to take practicable measures to ensure people at the workplace were not exposed to hazards.

WorkSafe found the owner had been working on the roof with a contractor when the contractor fell and suffered serious injuries.

“Neither temporary fall injury prevention anchorages nor scaffolding were installed on that side of the roof, despite the fact they were locally available and easily installed,” a WorkSafe spokeswoman said.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Darren Kavanagh said the case served as a rem-inder that owner-builders were fully res-ponsible for safety on their construction sites.

“Owner-builders have considerable control over their construction sites, so workplace safety laws hold them responsible for the safety and health of the workers on those sites,” he said.

“This owner had complete control over the workplace — he granted access to the site, personally managed the day-to-day running of the build, engaged all tradespersons, purchased materials, and was even personally engaged in the manual labour of the construction work.

“He should have known better after having owner-built a home previously and having earlier been warned by a WorkSafe inspector about fall injury-prevention measures that needed to be in place.”

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