Charges laid after worker suffers serious electrical shock

NT WorkSafe has charged two New South Wales based companies and a company director for breaching the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 (the Act).

The charges relate to an incident on 5 February 2019, when a 43-year-old worker received a serious electrical shock at an Alice Springs accommodation establishment. The worker was unable to work for a few days after the incident.

NT WorkSafe will allege workers at the now closed establishment, had a regular practice of accessing the property’s mechanical services switchboard to reset circuit breakers and gas isolators.

It is alleged that the mechanical services switchboard, which was more than 30 years old, had exposed live parts and was extremely hazardous.

It is also alleged that despite the hazard, the mechanical services switchboard was easy to access, and no effort was made to warn of (via signs) or prevent contact with the live parts.

NT WorkSafe also alleges the workers were not trained or provided with information on how to safely reset the mechanical services switchboard.

N T Estate Pty Ltd as the owner of the property, faces one charge under Section 32 of the Act for failing to ensure the mechanical services switchboard was without risks to the health and safety of any person (as per Section 27(2)).

Springs OpCo Pty Ltd as the operator of the accommodation establishment, faces one charge under Section 32 of the Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of their worker (as per Section 19(1)(a)).

Megan Nott, a company director of Springs OpCo Pty Ltd, faces one charge under Section 32 for failing to exercise due diligence (as per Section 27) in ensuring Springs OpCo Pty Ltd complied with its health and safety duties.

If found guilty, each company will face a maximum penalty of $1.5 million, while Megan Nott faces a maximum penalty of $300,000.

The matter is listed for mention in the Alice Springs Local Court on 10 March 2021.

Peter Chan
0401 114 569