Moama man fined after worker falls from roof

December 01, 2017

A MOAMA houseboat manufacturer has been fined $61,500 after a worker suffered severe injuries when he fell onto concrete while working on a roof.

NSW Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean said the worker engaged by Travis Ross Brown, 35, of Moama, undertook roofing work without a safety harness in 2015.

Brown, of Browns Engineering, was convicted and fined $60,000 in the Sydney District Court on November 24 after pleading guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of workers, and $1500 for failing to notify SafeWork NSW of the incident, as required under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Mr Kean said the injured man, then 37, fell nearly 3m onto a compressor before then falling onto a concrete floor.

The injured worker was taken by ambulance to Echuca hospital before being airlifted to the Alfred Hospital where he spent 14 days.

‘‘This poor man fractured five ribs, punctured a lung and fractured two vertebrae in an incident that still causes him pain more than two years on,’’ Mr Kean said.

In a victim impact statement, the father-of-three described the family as having been ‘‘affected in every way possible – physically, emotionally, socially, financially and spiritually”.

‘‘Not only could this terrible incident have been avoided if the right equipment and training had been in place but, Brown also failed to notify SafeWork afterwards.’’

A SafeWork investigation revealed a lack of systems, policies or procedures for working from heights that exposed workers to serious injury or death.

‘‘Employers need to realise they cannot get away with behaviour that puts their workers at risk of this sort of serious injury, it’s just not on,’’ Mr Kean said.

The court result also comes as SafeWork NSW continues its year-long safety blitz targeting construction sites across the state to ensure workers are properly protected.

Brown has 28 days to lodge an appeal.

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