SafeWork SA has welcomed the evaluation of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption of its regulatory practices, policies, and procedures in relation to the safety regulator’s decision to refer new information to the Office for Public Integrity in connection to the 2014 fatal incident at the Royal Adelaide Show involving the Airmaxx 360 ride.
Earlier this month, SafeWork SA dropped the charges filed against the inspection company that inspected the ride involved in the incident. In 2014, an 8-year-old Malaysian girl was flung from the spinning ride and died.
It was alleged that the company breached workplace safety laws by failing to properly inspect the ride. It was also alleged that the company failed to properly inspect the ride’s restraint harnesses before certifying it was safe to use.
According to SafeWork SA, there was “no longer a reasonable prospect of conviction after new information came to light” regarding the incident.
The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption started an investigation into SafeWork SA’s handling of the matter and the evidence that was obtained.
“As a business unit of AGD, SafeWork SA has a critical role to play in effectively protecting the health and safety of South Australian workers,” the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) Chief Executive Caroline Mealor said.
“This is an opportunity to help identify how we can improve the SafeWork SA’s regulatory role and we will be working with the Commissioner throughout the evaluation process.”
SafeWork SA Executive Director Martyn Campbell said the evaluation would build upon the existing reform program within SafeWork SA to improve its compliance, investigatory and prosecutorial function.
“Since I started in this role, my priority has been to improve how we investigate and prosecute work health and safety breaches,” he said.
“Significant reforms are already underway, and this evaluation will give us the opportunity to evaluate the progress that has been made to date and identify where more work needs to be done.”