The family of a man who fell 8m to his death while working on an airconditioning duct has accused his employer of failing to meet health and safety measures.
The family of a man who fell 8m to his death while working on an airconditioning duct has accused his employer of failing to meet health and safety measures.

Business accused of failing to prevent worker’s death

THE Portsmith employer of a man who plummeted 8m to his death while working on an airconditioning duct has been accused of failing to meet health and safety measures in the lead up to the tragedy.

Queensland Workplace Health and Safety lawyers have charged Alphacool with one count of failing to comply with health and safety duty.

The company has not pleaded to the charge, which involves accusations it did not formally induct Cairns man Sol Fagan into workplace safety procedures, it failed to implement safety control measures and it did not provide adequate supervision on the day he died.

Mr Fagan was installing air ducts at James Cook University in August 2018 when he fell up to 8m before dying from his injuries.

He left behind his wife Hayley Schoon and two young children, Sojah and Sophia.

Cairns man Sol Fagan, 40, with his wife, Hayley Schoon, and two children - Sojah, 12 and Sophia, 10.
Cairns man Sol Fagan, 40, with his wife, Hayley Schoon, and two children - Sojah, 12 and Sophia, 10.

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In Cairns Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Aimee Sanderson from the Queensland Work Health and Safety Prosecutions office alleged Mr Fagan's death could have been prevented if Alphacool had adhered to proper workplace health and safety standards.

The court also heard there may have been a verbal induction, a supervisor at the site and that the control measures in question included the use of particular safety systems when working at height.

Ms Sanderson said the allegations "do set out the factual ingredients of the offence and they clearly allege the failures of this defendant company" after defence barrister Alisatir Smith applied for more details.

Sol Fagan and Hayley Schoon.
Sol Fagan and Hayley Schoon.

Mr Smith urged the prosecution to show "its colours" in relation to its case, which he said was not specific enough and had left his client in the dark about what they had been accused of failing to do.

"They're entitled to run a case that says we didn't do enough, but the question is how didn't we do enough?" Mr Smith said.

Magistrate Terry Browne initially indicated there were enough specific details in the prosecution's evidence, before adding he sympathised with the defence barrister.

The matter has been adjourned to October 7.

 

Originally published as Cairns firm accused of failing to prevent worker's tragic death


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