On 15 January 2014, apprentice Jack Reynolds sustained multiple injuries when the gutter he was working on came into contact with high voltage wires.
He was working under the guidance of Joseph Argent trading as Shear Edge Roofing, a host employer for the Trainee & Apprentice Placement Service Inc. (TAPS).
TAPS is a South Australia-based independent Plumbing and Roofing Industry Group Training Organisation. The role of a Group Training Organisation, is to employ, monitor and supply apprentices to potential host employers.
After an investigation by SafeWork SA, TAPS were charged with offences under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA), for failing to consult with all duty holders.
The magistrate had settled on an initial fine of $20 000 which was reduced to $14 000 plus court costs in recognition of TAPS early guilty plea.
Presiding Industrial Magistrate Ardlie was satisfied with the way TAPS cooperated during the investigation.
“I am satisfied that the defendant acted swiftly, demonstrated by the compliance with improvement notices, and made every effort to improve its safety systems,” said Ardlie.
Ardlie added that he was not aware of any other prosecutions under Section 46 of the nationally harmonised work health and safety laws (duty to consult with other duty holders).
SafeWork SA Executive Director Marie Boland added that TAPS had a duty to protect the safety of its apprentice, and shared that duty with the host employer.
“This case highlights the importance of training organisations consulting, cooperating and coordinating health and safety activities with the host employer,” said Boland.
“This case also highlights the ability of the work health and safety legislation to deal with modern employment relationships.”
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