Car dealership worker fined over colleague’s death

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A car dealership employee has been fined $9500 plus costs of $12,052.75 over the death of a worker at the dealership more than three years ago.

The man, a pre-delivery assistant was found guilty of failing to take reasonable care not to adversely affect another person, and by that failure, causing the death of the person. He was fined in the Fremantle Magistrates Court today.

The part manager died in July 2013 was struck and dragged by a vehicle driven by the pre-delivery assistant who was conducting a pre-delivery check.

The pre-delivery assistant left the engine running and placed it in reverse gear to check the rear lights. He asked the parts manager to check that the lights are working. As he was doing it, the Holden Cruze lunged backwards killing him.

Investigators found that the pre-delivery assistant accidentally pressed the accelerator instead of the brake.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said employees are also responsible for the safety of their colleagues in the workplace.

“The charge brought against Mr Taylor is a grim reminder that employers are not the only ones responsible for safety and health in a workplace,” Mr McCulloch said.

“A worker’s failure to take reasonable care not to adversely affect another worker has unfortunately resulted in the worst possible consequences.

“The vehicle’s engine need not have been running in order to check the lights – the key only needed to be turned to accessories mode.  The court was told that Mr Taylor was well aware of this fact.

“The Magistrate found that, by failing to ensure that the other worker was not standing behind the vehicle while it was in reverse and the engine was running, Mr Taylor failed to take reasonable care and caused the other man’s death.”

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