Employers have been urged to ensure safe work practices after a series of court cases have highlighted dangerous incidents, one case involving a death in a scrap metal yard.
Industrial relations Minister Cameron Dick says recent prosecutions by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland highlight the importance of appropriate training and risk management in preventing injuries and fatalities.
“The last few months have seen a spate of prosecutions resolved, with very heavy fines of up to $120,000 imposed,” Mr Dick said.
“One of these prosecutions resulted from a fatality at a Mackay scrap metal yard where a 56-year-old worker died from crush injuries.
Dick believes the fatality and injuries were all the more tragic because they were all preventable.
“Checklists are available for employees or contractors working with moving plant, scaffolding and vehicles. There are checklists for noise; driver fatigue; slips, trips and falls; falls from trucks; access to truck cabins; loading and unloading; lighting; and other risks.
“Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors are active throughout the industry, auditing workplaces across the state, often targeting these types of operations. But inspectors can’t be everywhere, and ultimately employers are responsible for ensuring workplaces are safe for employees.”