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Thursday 18th February 2021

Feb 18th 2021

Thursday 18th February 2021

MPI New Zealand charged after workers sustain burns. 

New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) was sentenced at the Invercargill District Court on February 11th for failing to ensure workers were not exposed to hazardous chemicals.

On behalf of MPI, biosecurity company, AsureQuality engaged OneStaff to provide temporary workers for the cleaning and disinfecting work needed to help manage an outbreak of Mycoplasma Bovis.

In April 2018 a cleaning product called X-Clean DOO AWAY was approved by MPI as a general cleaning product. MPI had not approved the sodium hydroxide-based cleaner produced by DOO AWAY for use in the Mycoplasma Bovis clean up.

The cleaning staff were provided personal protective equipment, including gloves; however, the chemicals seeped into workers cuffs resulting in eight workers sustaining burns to hands, wrists, and arms.

Investigations by WorkSafe New Zealand found MPI failed to adequately consult, co-operate and co-ordinate with the other parties to ensure work was carried out safely. MPI also failed to provide a safe system of work for the OneStaff workers.

“When multiple businesses and organisations are involved in carrying out work it is vital they communicate with one another to ensure risk has been identified and is being correctly managed,” said Steve Kelly, WorkSafe NZ Investigation Manager.

MPI was fined $30,000. Last November, AsureQuality was fined $66,000, and OneStaff was also fined $38,500.

Full article can be found on the WorkSafe NZ website

Fatal wall collapse in Ballarat, contractor charged. 

In September 2019 a 56-year-old man was crushed by a brick wall during demolition work at a Mount Pleasant property.

Horsham Backhoe Hire Pty Ltd allegedly failed to establish and maintain an exclusion zone around the live demolition areas.

The company’s failure to provide the information, instruction and training necessary to enable its workers to perform their work in a safe way and without risks to health was a breach of section 21(2)(e) of the OHS Act alleges WorkSafe Victoria.

Two charges have been laid for the alleged breaches

A filing hearing is set for February 19th at the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court.

Media release found on WorkSafe Victoria website

Company and director fined for failure to follow SWMS. 

A fine of $35,000 was issued to a flooring business. Its director was given a 12-month court ordered undertaking after they were found to have failed at following their own Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) for a building project, putting public health at risk.

Both the company and director pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to failing in their health and safety duties under Queensland’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and, exposing people to a risk of death or serious injury.

In July 2018, a levelling compound was applied to a commercial building foyer floor which needed time to dry. No matting, bollards or traffic cones were placed to manage the trip and slip hazards.

While crossing the floor, two members of the public slipped and fell, with one sustaining a fractured left patella.

Investigations by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland found the company’s SWMS identified slip hazards and safety controls but were not followed. Nor were exclusion zones, signage or adequate delineated pathways implemented.

Magistrate Suzette Coates acknowledged workers attempted to mitigate the risk of injury and the company had relied to some extent on the principal contractor to mitigate the risk, commenting that relying on others is dangerous when liability arises for the person performing the work.

Original article can be found on the WorkSafe QLD website

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