By Annette Shailer

A Bendigo nightclub operator has been reprimanded with a 12-month good behaviour bond and will have to fork out at least $6300 for repeatedly ignoring Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) regulations.

Magistrate Richard Wright this week ordered the Warehouse Nightclub to publicly acknowledge the venue’s safety failings, pay $3000 to Bendigo Hospital and pay WorkSafe’s costs of more than $3300.

The operator pleaded guilty to 11 charges relating to non-compliance with WorkSafe Improvement Notices and failing to display the Notices as required by the OH&S Act.

Triggered by WorkSafe Victoria, the prosecution followed a 2006 enforcement campaign targeting pubs and clubs, and supporting the release of guidance material aimed at improving workplace safety.

WorkSafe inspectors examined the Warehouse in October 2006 and issued a number of Improvement Notices requiring safety issues to be resolved within six weeks.

WorkSafe inspectors returned in December and May. By August 2007 the company was substantially compliant with the Notices, but closed down for alternative reasons.

WorkSafe executive director, John Merritt, said Improvement and Prohibition Notices identified safety issues that needed to be addressed and resolved.

“Ignoring safety notices is an issue that WorkSafe views seriously and it is a quick way to prosecution,” he said.

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The Shout Team

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