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Worker plunges four storeys to death: Employer fined $650,000

A worker fell 12 metres to his death. (Image: Getty)

A Melbourne company was convicted and fined $650,000 for the death of an employee who fell the height of four floors.

A jury at the County Court on Friday November 8 found Concorp Group Pty Ltd guilty of two counts relating to not maintaining a safe work environment and failing to provide instruction.

The court heard that the company was working on a high-rise residential development on Elizabeth St in Carlton. In February 2016, the 54-year-old victim was working alone on a wooden platform on the fourth floor when it overturned.

The employee fell 12 metres down the open shaft – and died at the scene a short time later.

WorkSafe Victoria found that the platform was built a couple of days earlier by other workers, but a supervisor deemed it unsafe and was boarded up to prevent access.

Unfortunately the victim was not told about the situation. The plywood blocking the entrance was removed and he entered the shaft to perform drilling work.

A third party engineer, the court heard, later concluded the chances of a fall on the platform was "almost inevitable".

The man lost his life because of basic workplace safety failures, said to WorkSafe executive director Julie Nielsen.

"This death could have easily been avoided if other workers had been warned about the unsafe platform, or if the company had made readily available and cheap modifications to reduce the risk of a fall," she said.

"Falls from height are one of the biggest killers of Victorian workers and WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute employers who do not control the associated risks."

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