Gerard Penna was fined $60,000 for failing to use a fencing equipment locking pin that would have prevented a worker being injured..
Gerard Penna was fined $60,000 for failing to use a fencing equipment locking pin that would have prevented a worker being injured..

Property manager fined $60k over unsafe work

A PROPERTY manager has been fined $60,000 for failing to use a fencing equipment locking pin that would have prevented a worker being injured.

On July 28 2017 at a Aramac property in central Queensland, two workers were loading 600kg coils of wire for lifting by a tractor mounted crane when one fell injuring one of them.

A subsequent Work Health and Safety Queensland investigation found that a locking pin designed to stop the spindle and the wire falling as it was being placed onto an upright spinner wasn't in place.

Gerard Penna, a manager of one of two farms that was owned and operated by a family trust, was responsible for training farm workers to do fencing for the family business.

When the injured worker and his colleague were interviewed by the safety inspectors they said the farm manager had told them they would save time if they did not use the locking pin, a Work Health and Safety Queensland statement said.

Penna too admitted there were occasions the locking pin was not used.

It was estimated that the locking pin had not been used between 20 to 30 of the last 80 times.

Penna pleaded guilty in Townsville Magistrates Court to failing to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health and safety of his workers.

Magistrate Ross Mack observed the locking pin was a simple design and there to be used.

He accounted for Gerard Penna's remorse, good character and that he had not been prosecuted previously for any work health and safety breach.

Penna was convicted and fined $60,000. Professional and court costs of $1,289.40 were also ordered.



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