Manager fined for bullying

Published by Star Weekly, Tate Papworth.

The manager of a company selling nuts, dried fruits and sweets in shopping centres has been convicted and fined $7500 for bullying a storeman.

Matthew John Sallama was the manager of John’s Nuts Operations Pty Ltd when the offences occurred.

In the Sunshine Magistrates Court on April 17, he pleaded guilty to breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act. He was also ordered to pay costs of $2000.

The court heard that for a period of almost six months in 2016 Sallama tormented the storeman – who had been working with the company since 2013 – with “profane, belittling, degrading, or offensive language” and spoke in an “aggressive, intimidating or abusive manner”.

He also threatened to “burn” his wages, to dismiss him, deduct e-tag expenses from the storeman’s pay, and not to pay for his immigration visa.

The court heard the treatment affected the storeman’s health, causing him distress, depression, fearfulness and tearfulness.

WorkSafe last month said the court action was the second time in six months the company had been fined over the incident.

In December last year the Sunshine court found the company, which is now in external administration, guilty of failing to provide a safe work environment.

The company was fined $80,000.

WorkSafe said the company was previously convicted and fined $60,000 for seven return-to-work offences relating to making late payments and failing to provide suitable post-injury employment to the same worker.

WorkSafe acting executive director of health and safety Adam Watson said there’s no place for workplace bullying.

“It poses a serious risk to a worker’s mental health, and the effects can have a lifelong impact – not only on the individual being bullied but their family as well,” he said.

“All employees have the right to go to work without fear of being bullied, harassed or singled out while on the job, and all employers have a clear responsibility to take care of their workers’ mental and physical health and safety.”

Mr Watson said he was pleased with the result.

“I’m pleased the court held the same view,” he said.

“WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute any employer who fails to take action to stop this abhorrent behaviour in their workplace.”

To contact the service call: 1800 136 089

Shopfitter, director fined $330k over worker’s death

Published by mybusiness, Adam Zuchetti.

A court has slapped fines worth $330,000 on a shopfitting business and its director over the death of an employee in 2017 who fell more than two metres at a construction site.

WorkSafe Victoria said that Entire Shopfitting Pty Ltd was convicted and fined $300,000 by the Melbourne County Court after it pleaded guilty to failing to provide or maintain systems for a safe work environment, and for not preparing a Safe Work Method Statement before starting “high-risk construction work”.

Meanwhile, the safety regulator said the company’s director, John Paul Kenneally, was personally fined $30,000 without a conviction being recorded after he pleaded guilty to one count of failing to take reasonable care.

The case related to an accident that occurred on 19 May 2017, when two of the company’s employees were instructed to begin framing works on the mezzanine level of a new indoor children’s play centre.

According to WorkSafe Victoria, an unnamed 55-year-old worker climbed a stepladder that was positioned near the edge of the mezzanine, which had not been protected by guarding after the balustrade was removed as part of the works.

It said that one leg of the ladder went through a cut-out in the floor, tipping the employee over the mezzanine edge and onto the ground more than two metres below. He later died in the hospital as a result of the injuries he sustained in the fall.

“The combination of a ladder and an unguarded void is a deadly one,” WorkSafe’s health and safety executive director, Julie Nielsen, said.

“There is no excuse for failing to protect workers from falls from height. The risks are well known and WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute employers who do not control them.”

The regulator said that employers can help to prevent such falls from occurring by using solid construction frameworks; fall-prevention devices such as scaffolds, guardrails and safety mesh, and also safety nets or catch platforms to prevent injury should a fall occur.

My Business attempted to reach Mr Kenneally for comment; however, the company’s website is no longer live. The person who answered a call to the phone number listed for Entire Shopfitting said it was no longer located on that number.

Dangers of exposure to silica dust explained

Published by Katherine Times – 30 May 2019.

NT WorkSafe will visit businesses in Katherine to highlight the risk of silica exposure to their workers.

Workers involved in cutting or polishing engineered or manufactured stone at these businesses potentially have a medium to high risk of silica exposure.

NT WorkSafe has started this compliance campaign following a national spike in workers diagnosed with the fatal lung disease silicosis.

WorkSafe will also be visiting businesses in Darwin, Palmerston, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek over the next three months.

WorkSafe Inspectors will raise awareness in these businesses of silicosis and review the control measures in place to manage the risk of silica dust.

NT WorkSafe Director Operations Neil Burgess said workers cutting or polishing engineered or manufactured stone face the highest risk from silica exposure, however the risk could be reduced if appropriate control measures were in place.

“The engineered stone benchtop manufacturing industry in the Northern Territory is small compared to the eastern states and there have been no confirmed cases of silicosis in the Territory,” said Mr Burgess.

“Despite this, WorkSafe Inspectors will visit a number of at risk businesses identified across the Territory over the coming weeks to ensure the control measures are in place to protect Territory workers.”

“The majority of the identified businesses are involved in kitchen and bathroom renovations, or are stone suppliers,” said Mr Burgess.

“WorkSafe Inspectors will be issuing improvement and prohibition notices to businesses that don’t have appropriate control measures.”

“There is also a legislative requirement for an employer to provide health monitoring to their workers who may have been exposed to silica.

“WorkSafe Inspectors will be checking if appropriate health monitoring has been provided to workers.”