Victoria’s road authority and an engineering firm fined over traffic controller’s death

Victoria’s road authority and a construction company have been fined $1.55 million over a death of a traffic controller in 2011.

The road authority pleaded guilty to a breach of the 2004 Occupational Health and Safety Act after it failed to maintain a safe system of work and was fined $250,000.

The construction company was found guilty of failing to provide a safe system of work, failing to provide employees with information, instruction, and training for them to perform their job safely and failing to ensure people other than their employees were not exposed to health and safety risks.

The company pleaded not guilty earlier this year, but a County Court jury had found it guilty of each. The company was fined $1.3 million.

On November 30, 2011, the worker was fatally struck by a street sweeper during late-night roadworks in Bayswater. The court heard that the likelihood of the risk of death or serious injury eventuating from a collision between the sweeper and workers was high. The man raised safety concerns to the site supervisor in relation to the driving of the sweeper, but it was not addressed.

The man was employed by an agency subcontracted by the construction company.

The driver of the street sweeper at the time was sentenced to a two year Community Corrections Order and ordered to perform 500 hours of unpaid community work in February 2014.

“Any work that involves the need for pedestrian employees to be around traffic is high risk, and safety needs to be considered above everything at all times,” said WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety, Marnie Williams.

WorkSafe Victoria said the following should be followed to reduce the risk of injury or death to road users such as pedestrian employees:

Safe Work Method Statements outlining how hazardous tasks should be completed are developed, adhered to and regularly reviewed