Family owned businesses and respective directors to stand trial for roofer’s death

Two family-owned businesses and their directors have been committed to stand trial following the investigation of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland into the death of a roofer.

These are Queensland’s first category 1 prosecutions under work safety laws. If found guilty, the companies may face maximum fine of $ 3 million, and two directors fined up to $ 600,000 each, with jail terms of five years.

The defendants and its company directors were charged with contravening Section 19 (2) and/or s20 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

The 62-year-old roofer fell almost six metres and died while working on the edge of a roof without protection.

An indictment relating to four separate complaints under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 was presented at the Maroochydore District Court on 8 February 2017 against the businesses and directors. They will stand trial in the Brisbane District Court. The matter is due for mention on 19 April 2017.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland head Dr. Simon Blackwood said falls from height is a serious issue in the construction industry.

“The roofing/re-roofing trade is certainly one where things can go wrong at height. In this case, the court will hear evidence that appropriate safety equipment was available and on site.”

It is alleged that the roofer was not wearing a personal fall protection harness and was several metres ahead of two scissor lifts.

“Not following simple safety guidelines and taking unnecessary risks is not just on,” said Dr. Blackwood.

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