Recently SafetyAtWorkBlog reported on a new WorkSafe Victoria guidance on guarding cellar doors. Comcare has started legal action against a company a similar hazard but one located in public.
Comcare has instigated proceedings against Australia’s leading telecommunications company, Telstra, for an unguarded pit in a public area. According to the media release dated 19 August 2009,
“The proceedings arise from an incident on 31 January 2008 when two Telstra sub-contractors opened an access pit while conducting work. The pit is located on a pathway between a train station in Brisbane and the office of an organisation that provides services to persons with impaired vision. While the access pit was allegedly left open and unguarded, a member of the public, with a vision impairment, fell into the pit and sustained a serious personal injury.
The maximum pecuniary penalty for a breach of s17 of the Act by a body corporate is $242,000.”
This is not a new hazard and open telecommunications pits have been guarded for decades, often with canvas to provide weather protection for workers. We’ll report on the judgement when it is handed down.