ACT News

Canberra company A1 Electrical Services fined after apprentice fell from roof

A Canberra company has been fined $140,000, two years after one of its apprentices had to undergo surgery following a fall at a work site.

Mitchell-based contractors A1 Electrical Services were installing solar panels in August 2013, when an apprentice fell from the roof after a ladder slipped from under him.

The apprentice was one of six who were left unsupervised at the time.

The ladder was not being secured by another worker and the apprentice had unclipped his safety harness.

He sustained fractures to his left wrist and right arm as well as severe lacerations requiring surgery. 

The apprentice had not been trained or deemed competent in working safely at heights.

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The company was penalised for exposing an individual to a risk of death or serious injury, under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

The revelations come as ACT workplace safety and industrial relations minister Mick Gentleman announced WorkSafe ACT inspectors would audit residential and commercial construction sites for compliance when working with heights over the next few months. 

"Working at heights is a high risk activity with serious consequences if not done in safe and cautious manner, and serious fines will be given to businesses that do not follow the proper processes. I would like to remind all those who work at heights to continue to utilise safe work practices," Mr Gentleman said.

"WorkSafe ACT is also offering free Working Safely at Heights seminars to assist business and workers who might be required to work at heights."

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