Company fined $80K for accident that caused serious injury

A FAR Northern building company and one of its directors have been fined more than $80,000 for breaching health and safety obligations resulting in a worker being seriously injured.

Mission Beach Constructions Pty Ltd had taken on an asbestos and demolition job in Hughenden in early April 2016, which involved removing steel beams from the state school's roof.

Workplace Health and Safety prosecutor Bob Watson said the mobile scaffolds used to complete the job had been unsafe and must have been that way for some time.

Workers had leaned three of the beams against one of the scaffolds and the weight had caused it to move because the brakes did not work properly resulting in a worker falling or jumping less than two meters.

One of the beams then fell, crushing his leg, which was fractured in two places.

Mr Watkins said that none of the side rails on the mobile scaffold had been installed and the company had also failed to complete an adequate safe work method statement.

MBC director Roderick Davis had been responsible for all demolition work.

Both the company and Davis, 61, pleaded guilty to the charges in the Cairns Magistrates Court.

WGC Lawyers solicitor Doug McKinstry said the company was suspended from doing demolition work for four months while the incident was investigated.

Mr McKinstry said there was not a reckless culture in place and neither the company nor Davis have any prior convictions.

"There's been an emotional toll," he said.

Magistrate Alan Comans said it was a serious example of this type of offending and the "need for general deterrence and protection of the worker is paramount in the penalty".

Mission Beach Constructions was fined $68,250 and Davis was fined $12,500. Each will also have to pay costs totalling $1092.55. Convictions were not recorded.



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