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Tuesday 4th May 2021

May 4th 2021

Tuesday 4th May 2021

$48k bill for clean up after painters ‘disgraceful’ actions. 

A painter has pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to three charges under the WHS Act for failing to protect workers and the general public from the risk of asbestos exposure.

Labelled as ‘disgraceful’ by a local magistrate, the painter was charged after allowing a worker to use a high-pressure water spray on asbestos or asbestos-containing material, failing to ensure the health and safety of others and not complying with an improvement notice.

WHSQ investigated after a neighbour reported the presence of ‘splotchy’ and ‘muddy’ substances on an external wall after the defendant used a high-pressure water cleaner to clean the roof of the property in Norman Park where he was painting. Testing revealed that there was asbestos contamination.

Costs to clean up and make the property safe for occupants and neighbours were over $48,000.

The magistrate in sentencing took into account the defendant’s financial situation but noted his conduct was almost a wilful disregard of his duties.

He was fined a total of $4000 with no conviction recorded.

More information can be found on the WorkSafe Qld website.

Lack of risk management led to the death of an experienced worker. 

A flooring company business was investigated by WorkSafe New Zealand following the death of an employee who had 17 years of industry experience. The employee was found unresponsive after installing carpet in a building using a strong organic solvent-based adhesive. He died in intensive care in Christchurch hospital three days later.

Worksafe New Zealand has warned businesses that experience does not substitute the need for proper risk identification and management.

’The particular adhesive the worker was using was known to be a health hazard, but the company had not undertaken a risk assessment on its use; it had no safe system of work for working with the adhesive – particularly in relation to ventilation and the use of fans; and nor did it provide effective information, training and instruction for workers,’ said WorkSafe’s Investigations Manager for the South Island, Steve Kelly.

The company has since implemented improvements to its operations and has been fined $60,000 in court and ordered to pay the victims family reparations of $105,000.

Read the full article on the WorkSafe New Zealand website. 

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