D’Arenberg fined $90K for poor safety standards

McLaren Vale winery D’Arenberg has been fined $90,000 over safety shortcomings which led to an employee suffering serious and permanent injuries in a shed fall.

SafeWork SA convicted and fined the winemaker yesterday after investigating an incident at the company’s Kangarilla facility in January 2009.

A male worker fell 4m through a roof when an unsecured sheet of roofing iron gave way.

The former employee suffered a fractured skull and wrist, and trauma to the optic nerve that left him with near total blindness in the left eye.

D’Arenberg pleaded guilty to breaching section 19(1) of the Occupational Health Safety and Welfare Act 1986 in that it failed to implement and maintain a safe system of work.

SafeWork SA told the court D’Arenberg had failed to provide hazard identification of the roof, fall restraints (such as harnesses), edge protection or a system of work to ensure all roofing sheets remained properly secured.

Industrial Magistrate Michael Ardlie said the incident was “foreseeable and easily preventable”.

Magistrate Ardlie fined the company $90,000 after a discount of 25 per cent to account for the defendant’s early guilty plea, cooperation with authorities, contrition and remedial action.