It was an accidental trip, but it’s cost Redleg’s premiership player and St Peter’s Bakehouse owner Damian Obst plenty.
Obst has just copped a hefty fine and paid compensation after an 81-year-old customer slipped while he was trying to repair a busted floorboard in the Stephens Tce shop he’s owned for 15 years.
The case goes back to 2011 when 81-year-old Joy Windsor fell into the entrance of an open cellar in the customer seating area of the Bakehouse.
On the day in question, Obst was trying a DYI repair job on a busted floorboard by opening the cellar door and repairing it from below.
He positioned tables and chairs as a barricade around the cellar opening.
Joy Windsor didn’t see the barricade and on her way out of the store, tripped and fell forward into the cellar’s entrance.
Obst took her to the QEH for emergency treatment, and remained with her until it appeared she would be okay.
Unfortunately the following day Windsor was taken to Ashford Hospital where she remained an inpatient for six days and has suffered ongoing problems with pain and mobility.
In the course of the next two years, she settled for a compensation payout of $21,000.
The inspectors from SafeWork SA had a look at the incident and decided a prosecution was in order, to which Obst pleaded guilty.
The ex-SANFL footballer-turned baker has paid $5000 to implement better safety procedures at the Bakehouse and a couple of weeks ago was fined more than $8600 by the Industrial Court.
“Safety depended on the best idea that occurred to Mr Obst at the time,” the magistrate said in his judgement.
“Whilst Mr Obst was clearly well intentioned and implemented some safety measures, he did so without the benefit of any pre-existing carefully designed safety policy aimed at eliminating the hazard to the greatest extent reasonably practicable.”
The maximum fine is $300,000, so Obst’s clean sheet worked in his favour.
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