Adelaide Construction site Supervisor, who was previously found guilty of a Category 1 Breach of the WHS Act, was last week found guilty and fined $21,000 for his involvement in an incident which saw an apprentice deliberately set on fire.
The Supervisor, in addition to another, were both prosecuted by SafeWork SA over the incident which occurred at a worksite in Woodville in April 2017, where an apprentice was doused in a flammable liquid, chased through the lunch room and set alight. The Supervisor who was found to be the main offender in the incident and pleaded guilty last month to the beaches of the Act, faced the South Australian Employment Tribunal yesterday to receive his penalty.
The Supervisor was sentenced, SafeWork SA Executive Director, Martyn Campbell, said that the State's second reckless conduct conviction sent a strong message to both employers and workers, especially those in positions of authority.
Campbell said, "It is not enough for a business to just have a 'no bullying' policy. Executives, managers and supervisors must live and breathe that policy to ensure it is ingrained in the fabric of organisational culture.”
"Supervisors and other leaders have a responsibility to look after young workers, not physically abuse them in the name of fun or high jinks.”
"I would encourage every business to look at their own processes for how they manage bullying. If they fall short of the standard then they need to ask for assistance to make sure they are legally compliant and doing what is required to ensure worker health and safety."
The apprentice involved in the incident was luckily unharmed but the potential for a devastating outcome was very real. This was not the first time the apprentice was subjected to bullying in the workplace either.
Incidents like this reinforce the need for members to have in place a healthy anti-bullying culture, including policies, training and enforcement. The MTA’s WR team offers a bullying training course for members and their employees to help create and maintain a bullying free culture. By doing this, it could save your business in the long run!
To read the full court decision, click here.
If you are interested in discussing anything in regards to bullying in the workplace, contact the WR team for advice and assistance on 8291 2000 or via email by clicking here.