VIC: company and director fined $375,000 after worker’s fatal fall

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Tuesday, 10 August, 2021 - 12:30
Incidents & prosecutions

A company in Victoria and its director have been convicted and fined a combined $375,000 following the death of a worker at a Clayton warehouse in 2019.

Lagondar Nominees Pty Ltd and director Emil Lagondar were recently sentenced in the Melbourne Country Court after pleading guilty to one charge each of failing to provide a safe workplace.

They were fined $250,000 and $125,000 respectively.

The court heard the company had sold its Clayton warehouse and the worker was helping with decommissioning work prior to settlement.

On 15 April 2019, the worker was in an unsecured cage elevated by a forklift about 4.5 metres off the ground when the cage fell from the forklift to the concrete floor below.

He suffered fatal head injuries.

A WorkSafe Victoria investigation found that the cage was unstable and unable to be properly secured to the forklift and that there were several risk control measures that could have been taken, including using an elevated work platform such as a scissor lift, which was available at the workplace.

The incident was a tragedy that should have been avoided, said WorkSafe Victoria acting executive director of health and safety Andrew Keen.

“This death is a heartbreaking reminder of what can happen when duty holders are not thinking about safety,” Keen said.

“Falls from height remain a leading cause of death and serious injury in Victorian workplaces and WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute duty holders who fail to do everything they can to keep their workplaces safe.”