Edge-protection risks prompt warnings

The main contractor Morago Nominees – trading as Gavin Constructions – was fined $4000, and the subcontract bricklaying company Airdas – trading as Tyrone Bricklaying – was fined $2000 in the Armadale Magistrates Court last week.In July 2008, WorkSafe inspectors visited a site where a community centre was being built for the City of Gosnells and found several areas on the first floor of the building that did not have the required edge protection, putting workers at risk of falls of 2.9-3.1m.WorkSafe WA commissioner Nina Lyhne said Morago Nominees has previously been issued with five improvement notices and three prohibition notices between December 2007 and February 2008, all relating to the risk of falls and hoped the prosecution would “finally get the message through”.“Plenty of information is readily available on the prevention of falls, and I would expect building companies and bricklayers to be acutely aware of the need to prevent falls,” Lyhne said.“In particular, there was an area on this site where workers were pushing wheelbarrows up a ramp with no edge protection. Around three metres below them was the concrete ground floor slab onto which they could have fallen.“This case also illustrates the value of WorkSafe’s proactive inspection work, as the companies were pulled up on their shoddy work practices before anyone was injured or killed.”

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