A recent case of a workplace death serves to demonstrate that high risk matters and the observance of compliance are not something to be put on the list of things to do tomorrow.
Melbourne Water has been handed down a high financial penalty (DPP v Melbourne Water Corporation, 2014) in respect of the death of a worker (2011) at the Eastern Treatment Plant. The employee drowned in a sewerage channel, presumed to have fallen through a dislodged grate. The company are reported to have been aware that the grates caused a potential hazard and in his summing up of the case the Judge noted that there had been previous reports concerning the grates which had gone unheeded.
Not diminishing the tragedy of death, but neither did the company pay attention to its obligations to act in accordance with health and safety legislation. Our message is that it is never too soon to monitor risk and take corrective action at the same time taking into account compliance obligations.