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Builder fined $65,000 after worker run over by front end loader

A Brisbane builder has been fined $65,000 over a work incident in which a worker was run over by a front-end loader.

This Brisbane Magistrates Court heard the company had a safe work method statement for vehicle traffic, but the precautions were not in place at the time of the incident. Additionally, there was no internal traffic management plan at the worksite.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Queensland’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011 sections 21(1), 32.

The Workplace Health and Safety Queensland investigation found the October 2019 incident occurred at a Newmarket project where the defendant had engaged a subcontractor to complete plumbing and civil works, including stormwater and sewer.

A worker directing a delivery truck in the project driveway stepped backwards behind the front-end loader, which reversed over his right leg, causing a right tibia and fibula shaft fracture requiring surgery and significant and ongoing life altering difficulties.

Apart from the SWMS, the defendant had a Workplace Health and Safety Management Plan for the vehicle’s operation, outlining worksite rules in relation to moving plant, including the direction: “spotters used as required.” It also was not in place at the time of the incident.

Post incident, the defendant implemented barricading, signage and exclusion zones at the worksite and issued a direction to workers that a spotter is to be used when the machinery is in operation and that the spotter is to use a two-way radio to communicate with the driver.

Magistrate Mark Nolan, in deciding the penalty, accepted that the defendant had been cooperative with the investigation, had no history of prior contraventions of the WHS Act, and had entered a timely plea of guilty to the offence and had put in place changes to avoid such incidents.

The company was fined $65,000, with costs of $1600.

Further information

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