On 26 February 2013, two workers were in the wash bay area of a depot and maintenance shed. The defendant was reversing a bucket truck when it collided with one of the workers in the wash bay, killing him.
The defendant pleaded guilty in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court on 16 June 2015 to breaching s.32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, having failed to meet his work health and safety duties and was sentenced.
Magistrate Lee made an order under s.31 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 that the defendant keep the peace and be on good behaviour for a period of one year with a recognisance of $5000, to be forfeited if convicted of an offence within this period. The court also made a Training Order under s.241 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, requiring the defendant to complete a specified training course on or by 31 December 2015. Court costs totalling $86.80 were ordered. No conviction was recorded.
In deciding whether or not to fine the defendant, the magistrate considered the defendant's financial circumstances as required under Section 48 of the Sentencing Act. The magistrate accepted Defence Counsel's submission and found that the defendant had little financial capacity to pay a fine. Further, there was little assistance to be found from precedent cases as to whether a fine should be imposed, as none took into account the circumstances of this case.
Considerations for prevention
(commentary under this heading is not part of the court's decision)
Where there is a risk of workers being hit or crushed by mobile plant, duty holders should apply a risk management approach to ensure the selection of suitable control measures including:
- effective traffic management systems, for example separating or isolating pedestrians and mobile plant through physical barriers, exclusion zones or scheduling activities at different times
- ensuring plant operators are qualified and competent
- safety features such as guarding and emergency stops are fitted, serviceable and used
- that the right tool is being used for the job.
- Transport, postal and warehousing
- Date of offence:
- Toowoomba Magistrates Court
- Mr Graham C Lee
- s.32 of the duty under s.28 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- Decision date:
- 12 Month $5000 Good Behaviour Bond as per s.31 Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 and a Training Order as per s.241 Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- Maximum Penalty:
- Conviction recorded:
- CIS event number: