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A Moorabbin furniture manufacturer fined more than $22,000 for failing to address WorkSafe notices

Submitted on Wednesday, 2nd August 2017

A Moorabbin furniture manufacturer has been recently convicted and fined more than $22,000 for failing to address WorkSafe Victoria notices to fix serious safety breaches.

Leeming Furniture Pty Ltd was fined $22,500 and ordered to pay $4027 in costs after pleading guilty to two charges under the 2004 Victorian OHS Act for failing to ensure its workplace was safe and without risks to health, even though, luckily, there was no incident or injury.

The Moorabbin Magistrates Court heard that WorkSafe Inspectors visited the business several times between April 2015 and July 2016 and issued numerous improvement notices.

The charges related to the employer failing to correctly store flammable liquids; failing to fit a non-conductive, non-flammable cover to an electrical switchboard exposing workers to risk of electrical shock; allowing employees to smoke in close proximity to dangerous goods; failing to guard a high-speed rotating fan located in a doorway, and failing to undertake regular housekeeping tasks to prevent employees from various injuries.

WorkSafe’s Executive Director of Health and Safety, Marnie Williams, said “Improvement notices give employers a chance to fix safety matters brought to their attention by an inspector in a reasonable time frame if the inspector believes there is no immediate risk to employees. But they are issued for a reason, and any employer who ignores them does so at their peril. All the matters raised at this workplace by WorkSafe Inspectors were easily fixed and the improvement notices could have been complied with at very little cost. Instead, the company risked the safety of their employees by ignoring them and have suffered the (legal and financial) consequences.” (WorkSafe News dated 18th July)

These safety issues are exactly the type of items that are easily detected and managed through basic and practical prevention activities that all managers, employees and contractors can easily install and manage.

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry can provide a simple and FREE review of your workplace through the WorkSafe OHS Essentials program to identify exactly these types and other simple safety practices that will likely keep your company out of the courts and the negative media scrutiny that comes with this type of intervention.

Our expert team of WorkSafe approved Health, Safety and Wellbeing consultants provide this free service and hundreds of small and medium businesses have taken up this golden opportunity.

For more information and registration for this free support please contact us on 03 8662 5333 or hsw@victorianchamber.com.au to discuss your needs.

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