The former owner of a Mildura industrial laundry was today fined $ 50,000 and ordered to pay $ 50,000 in costs in the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court.
The bullying took place over two years. He subjected his workers to physical, psychological and verbal bullying and he was charged with failing to take reasonable care to make sure that his business provided a safe working environment under section 21 of the OHS Act 2004.
The sentence was handed down today after a three week hearing at the Mildura Magistrate’s Court. WorkSafe had a total of 19 witnesses, 12 of which were former employees and 10 were women.
The court was told that the laundry owner insulted them, used foul and aggressive language and also threatened them with physical harm using dogs and sticks.
He often told workers that he would dissolve them in acid and push laundry trolleys into the back of their legs.
Magistrate Radford in the Court today said that the behaviour was disgusting and appalling and that the laundry owner took advantage of vulnerable workers who were financially trapped.