TWO men have each been fined $75,000 after the death of a worker at a Gerang Gerung property in 2016.
A WorkSafe statement said the man, 70, died after he fell from the bucket of a front-end loader.
Friosal Enterprises trustee Glenn Fraser and maintenance contractor Armand Von Benecke appeared at Melbourne County Court on June 27, and pleaded guilty to charges.
Fraser pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to provide and maintain systems of work that were safe and without risks to health.
Von Benecke pleaded guilty, as a self-employed person, to a charge of failing to ensure persons other than employees were not exposed to risks.
Von Benecke hired the worker to help install winches to lift feeder and drinker lines in duck breeding sheds on the Gerang Gerung property, operated by Friosal.
Von Benecke and the worker were using a front-end loader in a shed to install winches on the centre roof truss, five metres above the ground.
Von Benecke was on the ground, chasing ducks away, while the worker was in the loader's bucket preparing the winch motor for fitting.
Von Benecke then leaned into the cabin and raised the bucket about three to four metres off the ground so the worker could check the fitting on the roof.
The worker fell to the ground and died at the scene.
A WorkSafe investigation found Friosal did not have an occupational health and safety policy and procedures manual.
The investigation also found that Von Benecke did not have any OHS policy or procedures, or a documented procedure for the installation of electric winches and feeder lines to duck breeding sheds.
WorkSafe health and safety executive director Julie Nielsen said the idea of using the bucket of a front-end loader as an elevating work platform was seriously flawed.
"Falls from height are one of the biggest killers of Victorian workers. They happen on all kinds of sites and to people performing all types of tasks and employers need to have systems in place to prevent them," she said.
"This tragic death is a terrible reminder of what can happen when employers don't consider safety when they are thinking tasks through."
WorkSafe recommends the following to prevent falls:
- Eliminate the risk by doing all or some of the work on the ground or from a solid construction.
- Use a passive fall prevention device such as scaffolds, perimeter screens, guardrails, safety mesh or elevating work platforms.
- Use a positioning system, such as a travel-restraint system.
- Use a fall arrest system, such as a catch platform or safety nets.
- Use a fixed or portable ladder or implement administrative controls.
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