Solar installer charged for ignoring fall from height risk


Thursday, 11 January, 2024

Solar installer charged for ignoring fall from height risk

A Darwin business and its manager have been charged for failing to ensure that its workers used fall protection while working on the roof of a commercial building. NT WorkSafe alleges that over a four-day period in August 2023, which coincided with two visits from WorkSafe Inspectors responding to safety concerns from members of the public, not all the workers installing solar panels on the roof of a commercial building had tethered the harness they wore to manage the risks of a fall. Amongst the workers not using fall protection was the manager supervising the work and a first-year apprentice.

Mpriza Group Pty Ltd, which provides solar, electrical and air-conditioning services, has been charged with three breaches of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 (the Act), including two reckless conduct charges under Section 31 of the Act for failing their primary duty of care under Section 19(a) and one charge under Section 33 of the Act for failing to comply with their health and safety duty, also under Section 19(a).

The manager supervising the works, Nicholas Zikos, has been charged with three breaches of the Act, including two reckless conduct charges under Section 31 for failing his primary duty of care under Section 19(a) and one charge under Section 33 of the Act for failing to comply with his health and safety duty, also under Section 19(a). If found guilty of all charges, the business faces a combined maximum penalty of $6.05 million while Zikos faces a combined maximum penalty of $1.25 million or five years’ prison, or both.

Charges under Section 32 of the Act for failing to comply with health and safety duty have also been laid against both defendants as alternatives to the reckless conduct charges. The matter will be addressed at the Darwin Local Court on Monday, 29 January 2024.

Image credit: iStock.com/pondsaksit

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