$2,000 fine for abusing safety inspectors

The Sunshine Magistrates’ Court recently heard that on 14 May 2015, WorkSafe inspectors entered the premises of Just Commodore Wrecking to follow-up on a safety notification. The notification alleged that cars had been stacked and one had fallen off, blocking a common walkway.

The inspectors were greeted by the director of Just Commodore Wrecking, Mr Shaun Victor Arendtsz. After the inspectors had identified themselves and explained the purpose of the visit, they requested entry.

Mr Arendtsz denied the request after claiming that the inspectors needed an entry permit. The inspectors explained they were entering under section 98 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. With this information, Mr Arendtsz looked up the Act online. After 15 minutes, Arendtsz said, “you’re right… you can enter but before you do, you have to get the cops”; he went on to swear and threaten the inspectors.

The inspectors told Arendtsz to “calm down”, after which they received further abuse. They decided to leave due to his behaviour. As the inspectors walked out the front door, the offender threw a car seat towards them and the seat struck the door.

During his court appearance, Mr Arendtsz pleaded guilty to intentionally hindering or obstructing an inspector in the performance of their functions or in the exercise of their powers. Magistrate Fitzgerald ordered Mr Arendtsz to pay a fine of $2,000 (without conviction) and to pay costs of $2,000.


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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au