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Coomera marine centre fined $90,000 for workplace injury


19 December 2023

The Gold Coast Marine Centre Pty Ltd pleaded guilty and was fined $90,000 in the Southport Magistrates Court after a worker was struck by a ten tonne boat carrier at Coomera.

In March 2021, the defendant's workers were lifting and transporting vessels using large mobile carriers near the launch bay on the river. One of the workers was struck by a 10-tonne carrier and suffered serious leg injuries, which later resulted in the amputation of his leg.

The court heard the defendant held a health and safety duty pursuant to Section 19 (1) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to ensure the safety of workers.

The defendant failed to comply with the duty it owed to its workers by not having signage and line markings along the travel path for the carriers near the launch bay, nor standard operating procedures which stopped people entering exclusion zones.

Following the incident, the defendant clearly marked exclusion zones near the launch bay and updated its standard operating procedures to prohibit people from entering or remaining in those marked exclusion zones.

Magistrate Jane Bentley found the matter involved a serious risk which was obvious and foreseeable, with a high likelihood of an incident happening given the mobile carriers operated in an area where workers were present. She found no risk control measures had been in place before the incident, which led to the worker suffering a severe and life changing injury.

On sentencing, it was noted the company complied with the investigation, updated policies, marked exclusion zones, and financially assisted the injured worker. The magistrate also took into account the defendant had no prior history of offending against the WHS Act and entered an early plea of guilty.

The defendant was fined $90,000 plus professional costs of $1,601.40. No conviction was recorded.

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