Charges laid over WA drowning
A WA plumbing company and a construction firm are being prosecuted over the drowning death of a plumber in 2018.
Ryan and Melissa Pty Ltd – trading as Vivian Plumbing and Civil – has been charged with failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment and, by that failure, causing the death of an employee in circumstances of gross negligence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2.7 million.
Badge Constructions (WA) Pty Ltd has been charged as the principal who engaged the contractor (Vivian Plumbing and Civil) with failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment and, by that failure, causing the death of a person. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2 million.
Plumber Ryan Duffus drowned in a trench while working at a site in Mosman Park in October 2018. Reports say the trench filled with water and sand after a water main burst.
WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner Darren Kavanagh said today the case was the first to be initiated under the increased penalty regime introduced in 2018.
“Vivian Plumbing and Civil and Badge Constructions face significant penalties, as should be the case when a young worker has tragically lost his life,” Mr Kavanagh said.
“Vivian Plumbing has been charged with gross negligence in relation to this incident, the most serious offence possible under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”
The first mention of this case will be heard on October 16.