Regional employment services provider fined $90K over worker’s death

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Photo: Activedia, Pixabay

A regional employment services provider has been fined $90,000 following a 2016 incident in which a work for the dole (WfD) worker died after falling from the back of a flat-bed trailer towed by a tractor.

An investigation conducted by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland found the work for the dole workers were expected to work without appropriate inductions and training, and with little supervision.

The court was told of several reasonably practicable control measures the defendant could have implemented to avoid the incident, including ensuring supervisors complied with the organisation’s policies, in particular its Workplace Health and Safety Manual, and ensuring that site supervisors provided WfD workers with proper site induction and training, following a proper risk assessment.

The prosecution alleged that while the company had policies and procedures, it failed to ensure they were being observed by staff tasked with supervising the programs.

The company has taken positive steps to prevent the incident from happening again, stopped participating in the work for the dole program, contributed to local sporting community groups, and provided assistance to workers affected by the incident.

Taking all of these into account plus the defendant’s early guilty plea, Magistrate Keegan ruled the fine should be $150,000, but discounted to $90,000.

The defendant was also required to pay professional and court costs amounting to $1,400. No conviction was recorded.

More information is available at Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s website

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