State Government agency fined $90,000 over HBF Stadium death

HBF Stadium.
HBF Stadium.

THE State Government agency which operates HBF Stadium in Mt Claremont has been fined $90,000 over the death of a worker who fell through a skylight in the roof of the stadium.

Western Australian Sports Centre Trust – trading as VenuesWest – was also ordered to pay $2100 in costs.

The organisation pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that persons at the workplace were not exposed to hazards, and was fined in Perth Magistrates Court today.

In June 2016, VenuesWest contracted a painting company to undertake external painting work on HBF Stadium.

This company in turn subcontracted scaffolding company Perth Aluminium Scaffolds Pty Ltd to erect and remove scaffolding on the stadium roof.

The work included painting steel masts and stays on the roof of the stadium, and Perth Aluminium Scaffolds erected scaffolding between the masts on the roof to give the painters access to the masts and wires.

On the morning of June 8 2016, four Perth Aluminium Scaffolds employees were dismantling this scaffolding when one of them stepped on a skylight and fell about 11 metres to the concrete concourse below.

The court heard that the scaffolders working on the roof had not been provided with a site-specific safety induction, a job safety analysis or safe work method statement specific to the work they were doing that day.

They has also not been provided with information identifying the skylights as a hazard, or even identifying the skylights at all.

No rails or barriers – either permanent or temporary – had been placed around the skylights, and they were not fitted with safety mesh.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Darren Kavanagh said the case was a tragic reminder of the hazard presented by brittle or fragile sections of roofs.

“This case illustrates the crucial importance of having safe systems in place when undertaking work on a roof area,” Mr Kavanagh said.

“The court heard that very little was done to provide a safe workplace for these workers, and the result was absolutely devastating for the family, friends and workmates of the worker who lost his life.

“I hope this case will serve as a warning to anyone who is in charge of a workplace that includes brittle or fragile roofing or any other fall risk to be aware of all the laws involved and ensure they have suitable safe work procedures in place.”

Perth Aluminium Scaffolds Pty Ltd was also prosecuted in relation to this incident and was also fined $90,000.