Lift company enters $240,000 enforceable undertaking

Tuesday, 19 September, 2023

Lift company enters $240,000 enforceable undertaking

Elevator maintenance company TK Elevator Australia Pty Ltd has committed to spend more than $240,000 to improve health and safety outcomes after an incident at a Melbourne office building. The company entered into an Enforceable Undertaking while facing charges of failing to provide necessary information, instruction or training, and failing to prepare a safe work method statement before commencing high-risk construction work. WorkSafe Victoria may reinstate the charges if the undertaking is contravened or withdrawn.

The estimated $241,395 undertaking requires the company to develop and deliver object fall from height incident awareness training to all TK Elevator field technicians in Australia, along with providing contractor safety training to TK Elevator managers and supervisors who engage sub-contractors. The company must also develop a permit system for the visual identification of subcontractors who are permitted to work in elevator shafts. Shaft safety kits must also be distributed to all TK Elevator teams, including a brochure distributed to Australian Elevator Association members. As part of the undertaking, the company will also donate $21,000 to the Australian Institute for Health and Safety’s OHS Body of Knowledge, and provide funding to the Let’s Talk about Safety Group to deliver safety empowerment sessions to apprentices and TK Elevator workers.

In May 2020, a worker from another company engaged by TK Elevator Australia was conducting electrical testing and tagging on top of a lift car on the 13th floor of an office building on Queen Street. The worker, who initially wasn’t aware he was in a lift shaft, accidentally knocked his testing device off a handrail causing it to fall about 39 metres to the ground floor where it struck another worker on the back of his leg. The struck worker was not injured and resumed work shortly after the incident.

WorkSafe alleges that it was reasonably practicable for the company to induct workers into the relevant safety procedures and to prepare a safe work method statement before commencing testing and tagging work in the lift shaft. WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer said it was fortunate the worker hit by the falling device was not killed or seriously injured.

“Even small objects can cause catastrophic consequences when falling from height. There are so many things that can go wrong when operating at heights so employers must ensure workers have the right safety information before commencing elevated tasks,” Beer said.

Image credit: Gorlov

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