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Details of successful prosecution against E181320

Incident description

The defendant’s business was a motor vehicle repair and mechanical workshop.

On 9 April 2013, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors issued three prohibition notices to the director relating to the use of three auto-lift vehicle hoists. The notices prohibited use of the vehicle hoists until they were inspected and repaired by a competent person and documentation was provided to WHSQ stating that the hoists were fit for purpose.   

Subsequent to these prohibition notices being issued, an inspector attended the premises and found the three vehicle hoists were in still in use.

Court result

The defendant pleaded guilty in the Holland Park Magistrates Court on 4 December 2014 to breaching s. 32 and s.197 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Magistrate Colin Strofield fined the defendant $12 500 and ordered professional and court costs totaling $1080.40. No conviction was recorded. Pursuant to s.49 Penalty and Sentences Act 1992, one penalty was imposed for all charges.

In reaching a decision, Magistrate Strofield recognised the need for deterrence for the noncompliance of prohibition notices, however he did not see the failure to comply with the notice in this case as blatantly defying Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.

In deciding penalty, Magistrate Strofield took into account the defendant had not been prosecuted previously for any work health and safety breach, cooperated with the investigation, entered an early plea of guilty and had noted the business had only limited financial capacity.  

Considerations for prevention

(Commentary under this heading is not part of the Court’s decision)

A Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspector will only issue a prohibition notice to prohibit the use of plant or equipment where there is eminent risk of failure that can result in serious injuries to workers. Failure to comply with the prohibition notice is a breach of WHS legislation.    

When working in the automotive industry duty holders should ensure that equipment is properly maintained and regularly serviced by a qualified tradesperson.

If plant is damaged, a qualified tradesperson should inspect the plant to ensure it is fit for purpose before using again.

When issued a prohibition notice the person conducting the business must action the requests and ensure all requirements of the notice are met.


Transport, postal and warehousing
Date of offence:
Holland Park Magistrates Court
Mr Colin Strofield
s. 32 of the duty under s. 19 Work Health and Safety Act 2011, s.197 Work health and Safety Act 2011
Decision date:
$12 500
Maximum Penalty:
$1 500 000 (s.32), $500 000 (s. 197)
Conviction recorded:
CIS event number:
Last updated
02 July 2018

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