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Details of successful prosecution against E178998 - second prosecution

Incident description

Mr Jameson Nathan Boon failed to comply with a training order made in June 2015 under s.241 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 without a reasonable excuse.

On 16 June 2015 he pleaded guilty in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court 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.

Mr Boon, then a 20 year old yard worker, held duties under s.28 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 as a worker.

On 26 February 2013 two workers were in the wash bay area of a depot and maintenance shed. Mr Boon was operating a bucket truck. While he reversed the truck it collided with one of the other workers in the wash bay, fatally injuring him.

As a part of the June 2015 sentence, which included a good behavior bond, the magistrate ordered Mr Boon undertake a training order under s.241 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Mr Boon did not perform the terms of that order, did not undertake the requisite training and provided the regulator with no reasonable excuse for failing to do so.

Court result

On 6 May 2016, Mr Boon pleaded guilty in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court to an offence under s.242 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, namely failing to comply with the training order.

At the time of sentence, Mr Boon was 23 years old, working as an apprentice diesel mechanic earning roughly $1000 net per fortnight.

Magistrate Graham Lee took into account the plea of guilty under s.242 and the maximum penalty imposable. He viewed the matter as serious and noted the defendant was represented by counsel during the original sentence on 16 June 2015. He commented that due to the seriousness of the case, a conviction ought to be recorded.

The magistrate fined the defendant $5000, ordered he pay court costs of $89.90 and made a further training order under s.241.

The court noted that achieving work health and safety was not necessarily all about fines. Training orders were made for very good reasons and to provide defendants with an opportunity to address work health and safety in a practical sense.  All opportunity was afforded to Mr Boon to comply with the training order.  He found that in the circumstances, and the fact that the June 2015 sentence gave Mr Boon the benefits of all the court's sentencing discretions and options, it was extraordinary that he showed no effort to complete the training order.

Considerations for prevention

(commentary under this heading is not part of the court's decision)

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011, unlike its predecessor, the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995, includes sentencing options apart from or additional to fines. Courts on occasion will see benefit in both deterrence through fines and providing defendants with opportunity to improve work health and safety and workplace safety culture through training orders under s.241.

If a defendant is afforded that opportunity, and fails to carry out the terms of a training order, it is likely a court will take a dim view of such non-compliance.

Details

Industry:
Transport, postal and warehousing
Defendant:
E178998
Date of offence:
15/01/2016
Injury:
Court:
Toowoomba Magistrates Court
Magistrate:
Mr Graham C Lee
Legislation:
ss.242, 241 Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Decision date:
06/05/2016
Penalty:
Fined $5000 plus Training Order as per s.241 Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Maximum Penalty:
0
Conviction recorded:
Yes
CIS event number:
E178998