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Court Summary - at a glance
- Plan for the job, which will include detailing the steps, and ensuring that a safe method of work is communicated to all team members;
- Document the communication of a safety plan which will afford the opportunity for the workers to feedback on the process to undertake the work, and to identify and manage any hazards specific to that task on that day;
- Conduct and document a safe method of work;
- Ensure that the documented safe method of work identifies roles and responsibilities of the team members, as well as the tools and resources to carry out the work safely;
- Clear the floor of debris to ensure trip hazards are eliminated. In particular, to ensure that the floor is clear of any obstacles and debris which would restrict or limit the safe set-up and use of step ladders or mobile scaffolds;
- Ensure that the ladders are of a sufficient length to safely reach the area of work while maintaining three points of contact and standing on the second step from top.
On 11 March 2015, the alarm supervisor attended site and instructed the victim and another contractor how to undertake the work. The site foreman had instructed that the wires needed to be shifted.
The victim was positioned on top of a 6 foot ladder that had been placed on top of mobile scaffold, with one hand holding the ladder and the other hand above his head holding a drill to drill into a metal frame/steel trench. By placing the ladder on top of the mobile scaffold, the victim was positioned above the limited protection offered by the incomplete guard rail on the platform and accordingly was not protected from a fall. The scaffold was not level and had missing rails.
The victim fell from a height of approximately 3 metres to the concrete floor below. He suffered traumatic, serious spinal injury and was paralysed from the shoulders down.