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Austria – Involuntary manslaughter of agency worker lands employer in court

14 February 2012

The CEO of a recycling company that had hired an agency worker who died while repairing a roof top has gone before the District Court of the Southern Austrian region, Klagenfurt, this week. The CEO, Richter Uwe Dumpelnik, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter over the death of a 46-year old agency worker, the national Austrian broadcaster ORF reports.

The accident took place on 28 October 2011 while several employers were working on the rooftop of a workshop. The agency worker was in the middle of attaching the roofing of the building when a tile broke under his weight. The man had not been secured and, the court says, had no chance of averting the incident. He fell 10 metres onto the ground and died at the scene despite having received first aid.

Almost four months after the death, the Crown Prosecutor is accusing Mr Dumpelnik of having involuntarily caused the death under “dangerous circumstances”. A risk assessment of the roof construction could have averted the accident, something which the accused had failed to provide. If convicted, he could be charged with a three-year sentence. 

In another case in Austria last week, a 40-year old agency worker was hospitalised after almost having his arm severed while working at a metal firm. 


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