Queensland’s independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, Aaron Guilfoyle, has charged MSF Sugar Pty Ltd with industrial manslaughter under the Electrical Safety Act 2002, in relation to a fatal incident near Little Mulgrave in far north Queensland in July 2019.
It will be alleged a worker was electrocuted when a crane contacted or came in close proximity to overhead powerlines in the course of work on a cane rail system.
The maximum penalty for industrial manslaughter is a fine of $10 million. This is the first prosecution for industrial manslaughter to commence under electrical safety laws since the charge was introduced in 2017.
Mr Guilfoyle has also charged MSF Sugar Pty Ltd with a Category 2 offence for breaching an electrical safety duty and exposing multiple workers to a risk of serious injury or death. The charge relates to the same incident and carries a maximum fine of $1.5 million.
The charges against MSF Sugar Pty Ltd are due for mention on 19 October in the Cairns Magistrates Court. No other charges are expected to be laid over the incident.