Builder fined $22,000 after apprentice falls from scaffold in Two Rocks

Stock image.
Stock image.

A PERTH builder has been fined $22,000 after an apprentice fell six metres from a scaffold and was seriously injured on a Two Rocks construction site last year.

Stephen John Gregson – trading as Gregson Constructions – pleaded guilty to failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment and was fined in the Joondalup Magistrates Court on Friday.

In August 2017, Mr Gregson and two employees, one a qualified carpenter and the other an apprentice carpenter, were completing work on a two-storey timber-framed house in Two Rocks

Mr Gregson was in control of the works and gave instruction and direction to his employees on what work to undertake and how to perform tasks.

On the morning of August 23, the two workers were instructed to set carpenter’s trestles so they could install barge boards to the roof gable at the front of the house.

During installation of the barge board, the apprentice carpenter fell approximately six metres to the compacted and levelled ground below.

He sustained severe facial injuries that required surgery to insert a steel plate in his cheek, a fractured left wrist and concussion.

“The apprentice involved in this incident is very fortunate not to have lost his life in the six-metre fall,” WorkSafe WA Commissioner Ian Munns said.

“Over the past 10 years, 28 Western Australian workers have lost their lives as the result of work-related falls, with a number of workers sustaining permanent and life-changing injuries in falls.

“This incident involved the use of a scaffolding method that provided no protection from falls for the workers.

“Two days after this incident scaffolding was erected at the front elevation up to the roof edge at no cost to Mr Gregson, providing safe access and a safe working platform for the barge boards and eliminating the fall hazard.

“Unfortunately this was done two days too late for the apprentice who was so seriously injured.”

Further information on safe work at heights and the code of practice can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877 or on the website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au.