A demolition company in Bunbury has been fined $ 4000 and $ 1338.50 in costs for conducting work without having the relevant licence.
The company pleaded guilty to performing Class 1 demolition work without having been issued a Class 1 demolition licence and was fined in the Bunbury Magistrates Court on Monday.
Class 1 demolition work is defined as work that includes total or partial demolition of a building or structure containing precase concrete elements erected by the tilt-up method; or work comprising the demolition or partial demolition of a building or structure that involves the use of a tower crane or any crane with as safe working load (SWL) greater than 100 tonnes.
As the company holds a Class 2 demolition licence, it cannot perform Class 1 demolition work.
The company was issued with a WorkSafe improvement notice in June 2015 for performing Class 1 demolition work without the appropriate licence.
The company performed demolition work at Beacon Lighting in Mervyn Street in Bunbury in August 2016.
Its operations manager completed the required Notification of Demolition Work, stating that the demolition work was “Class 2”, “removal of concrete panels”. Several workers signed onto the prepared Safe Work Method Statement that described the job as “removal of tilt up panel”.
The company removed precast concrete panels erected by tilt-up using a 200-tonne SWL crane. Both the panels and the size of the crane meant this demolition could only be carried out by the holder of a Class 1 demolition licence.
Worksafe inspectors visited the premises the following day to find the work already completed. The operations manager called one the inspectors and said he had made arrangements with a company that had a Class 1 demolition licence to do the work the following week. However, the work had already been completed by the company the day before.
“The whole point of having different classes of demolition licence is to ensure that the more high risk Class 1 work is done by workers who have the experience and the capacity to carry out that work safely,” said WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch.
“Work requiring a Class 1 licence requires more experience, training and technical expertise than other classes, and Picton Civil obviously does not have that expertise than other classes, and Picton Civil obviously does not have that expertise.
“The Operations Manager, Mr. Roberts rang a WorkSafe inspector and told him he had arranged for a company with a Class 1 licence to do this work the following week, but he was not aware that the inspector was standing at the site looking at the work that had already been done illegally by Picton Civil.
“Since the company had already been warned via an improvement notice the previous year that they need to ensure that demolition work was only done by a person with the appropriate demolition licence, the only course of action was to take prosecution action against Picton Civil.
“This case should serve as a warning to all demolition businesses that they should be undertaking only the work that is allowed under the specific class of demolition licence they hold.”
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