Note: Appeal decision published 2 March 2018
The defendant company held duties under s.25 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
The defendant company supplied various items of plant to an associated defendant's banana farming operations. The items of plant included a tractor, that was fitted with a roll over protective structure (ROPS) but no seatbelt. On 4 September 2015, a seasonal 'backpacker worker' from the Netherlands may have driven a tractor without due care and attention. It veered off a farm road and into a drainage ditch. Because of the absent seatbelt, he was thrown from the tractor and sustained minor injuries. The tractor did not roll over.
On 17 August 2017, the defendant pleaded guilty in the Tully Magistrates Court to breaching s.33 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, having failed to meet its work health and safety duties and was sentenced.
The Magistrate fined the defendant $2,000 and ordered costs totaling $89.40. No conviction was recorded.
The complainant appealed and was successful on the ground that the sentence was inadequate.
The appeal decision can be accessed via the following link:
Considerations for prevention
(commentary under this heading is not part of the court's decision)
When working in the agriculture industry where there is exposure to risks from plant not suitably fitted with operator protective devices, duty holders should apply a risk management approach to ensure the selection of suitable control measures.
Risk management involves identifying the hazards, evaluating the consequences and likelihood of harm that may result from the hazard, deciding and implementing control measures to prevent or minimise the level of the risk from the hazard and monitoring the effectiveness of the control measures to ensure they remain working correctly.
When deciding and implementing control measures associated with the risk of injury, obligation holders should consider:
- Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- Safe Design and operation of tractors Code of Practice 2005 (PDF, 0.5 MB)
- Rural plant Code of Practice 2004
- How to manage work health and safety risks code of practice 2021 (PDF, 0.65 MB)
- Agriculture, forestry and fishing
- Date of offence:
- Tully Magistrates Court
- Magistrate Cathy McLennan
- s.32 of the duty under s.19 Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- Decision date:
- Maximum Penalty:
- Conviction recorded:
- CIS event number: