Slaughterhouse fined after worker falls
A slaughterhouse in Ararat, Victoria, has been found guilty and fined $35,000 after a worker was injured falling from a raised platform.
The court found that Ararat Abattoirs Pty Ltd had failed to provide and maintain a safe working environment for its workers, to the extent possible. The company was ordered to pay costs of $2,930 in addition to the fine.
The court heard workers had to stand on a 1.5 meter high platform to load refrigerated shipping containers. It was from this platform on November 2, 2019 that the worker fell and hit his head on the ground, an injury that required two days of hospitalization.
A survey of WorkSafe Victoria found that employees were unsafe when loading sheep into these shipping containers because the raised platform was near an unguarded edge that lacked adequate fall protection.
“Already this year, there has been one death due to falls in the workplace. This comes after eight deaths and 1,307 injury claims for falls from heights last year,” said Narelle Beer, WorkSafe’s executive director of health and safety.
“Fortunately, no one was killed in this case, but this serves as a warning to all employers to ensure they take appropriate action to reduce or eliminate these risks.”
WorkSafe Victoria provides a practical Guide for the prevention of falls in the workplace. He points out that even from moderate heights, falls can be dangerous for workers. Safety measures such as scaffolding, guardrails and safety harnesses are suggested to prevent injury.