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Workplace safety trainer fined $200,000 for dodgy certificates

People in a computer of computers.Students in the classroom.
People in a computer of computers.Students in the classroom.

An occupational health and safety training provider has been penalised $200,000 for falsifying records.

Sunshine Magistrates Court in western Melbourne ordered ATTA Quality Training Services Pty Ltd to pay the fine after it pleaded guilty to 14 charges of knowingly providing false information under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The court heard ATTA gave students certification for completing a two full-day course – when in reality each day had finished by lunchtime.

ATTA's certification also stated certain mandatory topics had been covered, even though evidence from students suggested this had not taken place.

One of ATTA's assessors, Vincent Marino, pleaded guilty to five charges similar to what his employer faced. He was fined $25,000.

"Registered trainers have a legal responsibility and a community obligation to train workers properly and WorkSafe will not tolerate assessors or organisations who cut corners or fail to play by the rules," said WorkSafe executive director Julie Nielsen.

The affected students, who were training to obtain licences to handle scaffolding and forklifts, were later required to "show evidence of their competency" or re-do the assessment.

"Without certified training, inexperienced and possibly incompetent workers operating machinery would pose a potentially deadly risk to themselves and all around them," Nielsen said.

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