The final prosecution has now occurred over the 2013 incident that killed three pedestrians, when a wall of a site on Swanston St, Melbourne collapsed onto the footpath. Three separate companies have been fined over the incident.
WorkSafe have now prosecuted both Grocon (Victoria Street) site owner and controller, and Aussie Signs, contractor engaged to install advertising signage on the wall. Each were fined $250,000 (of a $305,000 maximum) for failing to risk assess the wall. WorkSafe could not prove the signage caused the wall to collapse, and so the companies could not be fined for causing the fatalities, but it was reasonable to assume the signage would increase the risk of collapse and so have been fined for lack of risk assessment. If the companies had been prosecuted for causing the deaths, the maximum fine would have been $1.1million for each charge.
The sub-contractor (Paramount Signs) who installed the signage under Aussie Signs direction has been fined $7500 by Victorian Building Authority for working without a building permit, it was ruled that even though Grocon were responsible for getting the permit Paramount Signs should not have begun work without checking the permit was in place.
This ‘is a reminder to anyone who manages or controls a workplace that they are responsible not just for the health and safety of employees and others at the work site, but also anyone else who may be affected by their conduct,’ said WorkSafe’s Executive Director of Health and Safety, Marnie Williams.