December 13, at the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court two men who assaulted, threatened and intimidated WorkSafe (Victoria) inspectors pleaded guilty to charges of inspector assault & intimidation.
The two men, one a director and the other an employee of a Melbourne based construction company were separately convicted and fined $2,000 and sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years. Both men were also ordered to pay $6,000 in costs.
“Inspectors play an important part in helping to keep Victorian workplaces safe – a job that can be difficult in the best of circumstances,” WorkSafe Victoria’s Executive Director for Health and Safety, Ian Forsyth, said.
“Putting up with aggression or intimidation isn’t part of the job description. When this sort of behaviour occurs, we will always take action,” he said.
The incidents occurred during two separate visits by WorkSafe inspectors to the workers construction site in 2008.
During one visit, the director of the construction company became abusive and aggressive. He held a piece of timber in his right hand, tapping it into his left hand to punctuate conversation. He also repeatedly verbally abused WorkSafe staff. He then grabbed the inspector by the arm and forcibly moved him off the site.
During the course of this exchange, the employee produced a Stanley knife and continued to flick the blade open and shut in a threatening manner.
WorkSafe’s Executive Director for Health and safety, Ian Forsyth, said inspectors needed the support of employers and workers.
“Our inspectors are just trying to do their jobs – as part of this they have powers to enter workplaces and to speak to people.
“People need to respect this and let them get on with the job which can literally save lives. A moment of hot-headedness can have very serious consequences,” he said.
Further information can be found in the WorkSafe media release by clicking here.
<Source: WorkSafe Victoria>