Mashera Pty Ltd, trading as Barlens Event Hire, pleaded guilty to breaching section 33 of the ACT Work Health and Safety Act 2011. The Industrial Magistrate recorded a conviction and fined the company $37,500.
“A number of people were injured at the Canberra Times Art Show on 11 March 2012 when panels which were displaying the artworks collapsed,” Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe said in a media statement.
“Barlens Event Hire had left safety in the hands of subcontractors who were engaged to install dilay panels for the event.
“They relied on the [subcontractor’s] experience to ensure the structure was stable, and did not give detailed instructions other than the layout of the panels.
“They did not carry out a risk assessment or conduct any checks of the stability of the structure.”
The incident happened after the event was moved at short notice to the Federation Ballroom at the Hyatt Hotel and the subcontractor did not finish erecting the panels until 2am on the day of the art show.
“It is important to note that the principal contractor is being held accountable for this incident. Contractors cannot simply delegate all their safety duties to a subcontractor,” Mr McCabe said.