Topline Carpentry banned from employing apprentices and trainees

The VRQA banned Topline Carpentry South East Pty Ltd from employing apprentices and trainees after a Topline employee injured a 16-year old apprentice twice in one day.

As reported by WorkSafe Victoria, a Topline employee threw a saw to the apprentice without removing the blade. The apprentice attempted to catch it, and suffered a laceration to his hand.

Later, the same employee and apprentice were working on a doorframe. The employee fired a nail gun which split the frame's top plate. The nail struck the apprentice in the forehead and penetrated his skull by approximately 40mm, and his brain by approximately 20mm.

The company was fined $130,000 by the Ringwood Magistrates' Court after being found guilty of 8 charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

VRQA Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Kaplan said, 'Employers are on notice that mistreatment of apprentices and trainees is not just wrong – it's illegal.

'They should also know that all government regulators that come into contact with apprentices and trainees share information. If there's action taken by one regulator, don't think that's the end of the matter.

'In this case, WorkSafe Victoria acted to secure convictions and fines for Topline Carpentry. Now the VRQA has acted to ensure that Topline cannot employ apprentices and trainees.'