Employer Charged with Multiple Breaches after Ignoring Notices

25 August 2017

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 26 of the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act (“Duties of persons who manage or control workplaces”) and ignoring numerous WorkSafe Victoria improvement notices, Leeming Furniture Pty Ltd (“Leeming“) have been convicted and fined $22,500 and more than $4,000 in costs.

Between April 2015 and July 2016, WorkSafe inspectors issued Leeming with numerous improvement notices relating to:

  • placing an inadequately guarded high speed rotating fan next to a doorway;
  • allowing workers to smoke cigarettes close to flammable liquids and paints;
  • failing to fit a non-conductive, non -flammable cover to an electrical switchboard;
  • failing to adequately store dangerous goods; and
  • exposing workers to high risks of falls through the failure to remove materials and equipment from walkways.

The Moorabbin Magistrate held that the employer failed to act on the notices despite all the matters raised being easily fixable, and easily complied with at very minimal cost.

WorkSafe Health and Safety Executive Director Marnie Williams has since warned that “Improvement notices…are issued for a reason, and any employer who ignores them does so at their peril”.