Rueben Barnes
Rueben Barnes

Employer admits some responsibility in insulation death

THE Rockhampton employer of a teenager electrocuted while installing roofing insulation has admitted he must accept some responsibility.

Christopher Jackson, co-director of Arrow Property Maintenance, has been quoted in the media saying the house was a "death waiting to happen and we were the lucky bastards who won the quote".

Rueben Kelly Barnes, 16, died on November 18, 2009 when he used a metal pole to push insulation into place in a Stanwell home, near Rockhampton, and touched an electrified screw that had pierced an electrical cable.

In Queensland Coroners Court yesterday, Mr Jackson said he trusted the tradesman before him to ensure the site was safe electrically, expected his secretary to pass on all relevant updates on the roof insulation program and expected his foreman to have Rueben fill out the relevant forms.

When asked whether he was simply going to blame everyone else, he admitted he must accept some accountability for Rueben's death

More evidence relating to the Rockhampton teen's death will be heard in May.