A company has been fined $25,000 for failing to maintain a safe workplace following a worker's death at a Melbourne housing development.
R S Connell & Sons were carrying out sewerage works at a Cranbourne East estate in March 2015 when employee Jacob Kermeen was fatally injured in a trench collapse.
He happened to be in a section of the trench that was unshielded at the time, court documents show.
R S Connell & Sons pleaded guilty in Melbourne Magistrates' Court to failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment for workers and non workers.
"The circumstances of how and why Mr Kermeen came to be in the unshielded part of the trench at the moment it collapsed are unknown," WorkSafe said in documents provided to the court.
WorkSafe did not allege the company's safety failings contributed to the death, nor did they allege the company failed in its training, instruction or supervision provided to Mr Kermeen or other employees.
But WorkSafe told AAP an investigation into the site after the death found minor issues with the company not complying with regulations.
They found trench shields extended only 500mm above the ground instead of the recommended 900mm, guard rails weren't fitted to the shields and there was no barricading around the shield.
Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg on Friday agreed the death was not connected.
"That death is totally unrelated to the breach of safety," he said.
He said the company had a safe working practice in place but failed to maintain it.
Mr Rozencwajg fined R S Connell & Sons $25,000 over the safety failings, and did not record a conviction.
The company will also pay $8000 in legal costs incurred by WorkCover.