A failure by an employer to identify and put in place appropriate safety controls to stop a heavy door closing on an employee has resulted in a conviction and significant penalties for the employer.

The employee suffered broken bones, fractures to the lower back and a stroke as a result of his injuries.

WorkSafe found that the employer should have installed a safety locking device or restraint system to stop the door from dropping, and a system to stop the door immediately, if hand pressure on the control button was released. Other safety controls should also have been put in place to prevent the door accidently being activated.

The employer was fined $39,000 and ordered to pay $68,250 in reparation to the employee. Additionally the employer would also have faced paying its defence costs of the prosecution, so a very expensive exercise for the employer and a traumatic and tragic injury for the employee. These both could have been avoided if the employer had identified the risk and put in place measures to prevent the incident occurring.

Don’t put your head in the sand, put in place your Health & Safety plan.