1999 April – 2002 November: Rentokill Fined $40,000

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Pest Firm’s Fine For Spray Leak

Illawarra Mercury Saturday November 30, 2002

A PESTICIDE company has been fined $40,000 after a chemical spray to kill fleas in a storage area was sucked through an airconditioning vent into offices.

Among offices affected were those of the NSW workplace safety watchdog.

Rentokil was yesterday fined in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission for workplace safety breaches at a Shellharbour office complex in April 1999.

Commissioner Russell Peterson was told the company failed to ensure the health and safety of workers in three offices above the storage area, which included WorkCover NSW.

WorkCover took the case to the Industrial Commission saying Rentokil failed to shut down the airconditioning unit before spraying the flea treatment, and failed to warn the occupants of the office about the treatment.

“During the treatment and afterwards, occupants present in the office areas of the building began to experience eye, nose and throat irritations as well as headaches and nausea as a result of exposure to (the) insecticide,” Commissioner Peterson said.

The maximum fine for the breach was $825,000.