WorkSafe charges shed company over worker fall death

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WorkSafe has commenced prosecution action against a shed building company and its director over the fall death of a worker and the serious injury of another worker in March 2020.

MT Sheds (WA) Pty Ltd and company director Mark Thomas Withers face a total of seven separate charges including charges in relation to the death of Jake Williams and serious injuries to Fraser Pinchin last year.

The charges include one alleging circumstances of gross negligence against MT Sheds (for which a maximum penalty of a $2.7 million fine applies) and a charge against Mark Withers that alleges the company’s gross negligence offence occurred with his consent or was attributable to his neglect (for which a maximum penalty of a $550,000 fine and five years’ imprisonment applies).

Other charges include allegations that neither Mark Withers nor either of the two employees involved in the incident held High Risk Work Licences for work they were performing, and that MT Sheds allowed Jake Williams to do construction work when he did not hold a Construction Induction Training Certificate (“white card”).

It is alleged that on the day of the incident, the two workers were installing roof sheets on a shed they were constructing on a farm for agricultural purposes without appropriate safety control measures in place. A strong wind or willy-willy lifted a sheet from the pack of roof sheets they were working near, causing them both to fall from a significant height.

It is alleged that Jake Williams fell approximately nine metres from the apex of the roof, suffering fatal injuries, while Fraser Pinchin fell around seven metres from the roof’s edge near the gutter line, suffering multiple fractures of the pelvis, hip, wrist and ribs.

The first mention will be in the Esperance Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Media Contact: Caroline De Vaney, 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)

Follow @WorkSafeWA on Twitter

Media release
22 Mar 2021

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