A tradie has been convicted for assaulting and spitting on a safety inspector who randomly came across an unsafe Melbourne construction site

Atholl Robertson, 51, also tried to hit the WorkSafe inspector’s notebook from his hands and take the man’s identification at the Elwood site, in the city’s southeast, in October last year.

The inspector had been driving past when he noticed tradies working close to an unprotected edge more than two metres above the ground.

He pulled over, directed the workers to return to the ground and asked for their identification before being confronted by Robertson.

The 51-year-old refused to identify himself, swore and spat twice at the inspector before leaving, and then returning to try and hit the notebook from the man’s hands and grab his identification.

The inspector maintained a calm and professional demeanour throughout the ordeal, WorkSafe said.

Robertson pleaded guilty in Melbourne Magistrates Court last week over the assault and was fined $3500 plus costs.

“Our inspectors can attend any workplace at any time, and obstructing them from doing their job to protect workers from unsafe practices will not be tolerated under any circumstance,” WorkSafe’s Julie Nielsen said in a statement on Tuesday.

Source: AAP