In 2007, carpenter Peter Boehm fell from 2.5m from a 1.8m A-frame ladder whilst installing a cover on a hot water system in Fitzroy, Victoria. Boehm brought common law proceedings for negligence against his employer for not providing a safe work environment.

Prior to the updated Occupational Health and Safety Regulations in 2007 (and again in 2017), Boehm alleged breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety (Prevention of Falls) Regulations 2003 (Vic) under regs 101, 201 and 204. An employer must identify and control potential falls of over two metres.

Boehm suffered injuries to his cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. Further complications resulted in blurred vision, urinary issues, abdominal bloating, impaired sexual function, constipation, headaches, numbness and a diagnosis of depression.

The Court found Boehm to be contributorily negligent at 15%. Damages were assessed under s 134AB(25) of the Accident and Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) as $587,502 for pecuniary loss and $350,000 for pain and suffering. Strongbak voluntarily deregistered with ASIC in 2015.

Case note: https://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/vic/VSC/2011/463.html?context=1;query=Boehm%20v%20Strongback%20Pty%20Ltd;mask_path=