NT WorkSafe has laid charges against a Queensland based labour contracting hire company and one of its directors in relation to the death of a Fijian national who had travelled to Australia on a working visa.
The man was employed as part of a fruit picking team contracted by the company to work on a portion of the Douglas Daly Research Farm leased by King Producers Management Team Pty Ltd to grow watermelons.
On 3 June 2016, the victim was found deceased as a result of a motor vehicle rollover on Douglas Daly Research Farm.
NT WorkSafe alleges that the company failed to ensure the work vehicle was properly maintained, thus exposing its workers to a risk of death or serious injury. The worker also did not hold an Australian driver’s license and there were no proper worker inductions before he started his employment.
Additional charges have also been laid against the company and the director for failing to cooperate with the Regulator and provide documents during the investigation.
The director faces a fine of $10 000, while the company could be liable for fines of up $50 000 for not complying with a section 155 notice under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act.
Executive Director NT WorkSafe, Stephen Gelding, said all companies are required by law to maintain vehicles in a safe, roadworthy condition and to fully cooperate with the regulator during an investigation.
‘All businesses operating in the Northern Territory must take their legal responsibilities very seriously particularly with regard to the safety and wellbeing of their workers.
‘All workers must undergo a proper induction prior to starting work and it is the employers’ legal responsibility to ensure all machinery and vehicles are properly maintained in accordance with manufacturers’ directions. Workers must also have the appropriate training and licenses required to operate those vehicles and machinery,’ he says.
The matter is listed for mention in the Darwin Local Court on 28 June 2018.