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Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 202
32VAC Offline OP

September 06, 2007 04:58pm
Article from: AAP

A MELBOURNE company has been convicted and fined $300,000 over the death of a 26-year-old man who was electrocuted while changing a light bulb at work.

Sion (Sion) Rees, an employee of Camden Neon Pty Ltd, was changing light bulbs in a display at a car yard in Sydney Road, Coburg, on April 18 last year, when he was electrocuted.

The Victorian County Court was told Mr Rees, from Sunbury, north of Melbourne, had been using a screwdriver to remove broken glass from a light fitting.

He was not given insulated equipment and was not instructed to turn the power off before changing the globes.

Camden Neon, which is based at Tullamarine, in Melbourne's north, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a safe work environment.

Judge Sue Pullen said today that safety procedures at the company were grossly insufficient and workers were lacking in the most basic instructions.

"The very tragic fact of this is that Sion Rees was electrocuted," Judge Pullen told the court.

"Culpability of the company in my opinion is very high.

"No doubt the death of Sion has caused a lot of grief to the family.

"Nothing can be done or said to compensate the family."

Judge Pullen said she had taken into account when sentencing that the company had pleaded guilty and had cooperated with the Victorian WorkCover Authority in its investigation of the incident.

She convicted Neon Camden Pty Ltd and fined the company $300,000.

The maximum penalty is a fine of $943,200.,23599,22373787-29277,00.html

Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
I really can't help feeling that there's becoming far too much judicial blame-passing these days and this seems to be a prime example.

Should a 26-year-old man really need to be told not to poke around in a light socket with a screwdriver without switching off the power first? I'm really having a hard time accepting that this was the company's fault, at least not to the degree implied by the judge.

Sure, a company has a certain duty to look after employees, but I don't think it's unreasonable for an employer to expect his employees to use a little common sense and take a certain amount of responsibility for their own actions.

What next? A lawsuit because an employee wraps a work van around a tree and the company didn't issue specific instructions not to drive at solid objects?

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,213
Normally, I'm very sympathetic, but this sounds like a nominee for the Darwin awards.

In his defense; with the light bulb burned out, it's often difficult to tell if the switch is on or not.

Last edited by SteveFehr; 09/24/07 10:45 AM.
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 984
Likes: 1
Pauluk; there's already been a case brought for that.

My GF works at a car repair shop. One day a guy brought in a car that had brakes that were all but useless.

They wouldn't let the guy take the car home without a BIG agrument and having him sign a letter that stated that he knew that the brakes were bad and the car should not be driven under any circumstances.

Well...he had an accident on the way home and sued the shop because they "allowed him to drive a defective car".

Never mind that if they had kept the car against his wishes (and kept him safe from his own stupidity) they would have been sued for unlawfully confiscating it.

Somedays you're the windshield, somedays you're the bug.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 114
I used to work with a guy that drove a reallllly crappy looking rusted out station wagon, and he secured the steering wheel with an anti-theft device (The Club, or similar). I got a laugh out of this every time I walked through the parking lot, since this car could not have been worth more than $500. Then I heard the story of why...
Guys at work that went anywhere with the owner said riding in his car was pretty scary. He had to pump the brakes to get the car to stop. Then one day his car got stolen and the thief got into an accident and sued the guy for having an unsafe vehicle. I didn't hear the result of the suit, but I can't (don't want to) believe the thief could have got any money out the deal. But, on the advice of his lawyer, the guy installed the security device.

Last edited by electech; 09/24/07 05:20 PM.
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
he had an accident on the way home and sued the shop because they "allowed him to drive a defective car"

the thief got into an accident and sued the guy for having an unsafe vehicle.

Just when you think human stupidity can sink no lower, somebody comes along and proves you wrong. frown

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Just when you think human stupidity can sink no lower, somebody comes along and proves you wrong.

They sure do! Tony B. Liar had to have a new car now he's going to be a special envoy. A bespoke and ludicrously expensive armored BMW limo was ordered from Germany. Upon arrival in England an elite squad of highly trained and armed police opened the sealed truck, and out jumped half a dozen illegal muslim immigrants!
So they had to send it back to BM just in case the security features had been compromised!
Now the best bit. Having taken the culprits into custody, the police contacted the Home Office for instructions and were told to give them some money for the train and directions on how to find their own way to the Immigration Processing unit!
Needless to say they never turned up!

Wood work but can't!
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
The upside to this story is that this idiot won't be able to pass down his worthless DNA.

Last edited by SvenNYC; 10/17/07 03:15 PM.

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