WA: Bakery Fined for Transport Safety Breaches

A Geraldton business has been fined for the third time for failing to give its staff appropriate breaks before long haul driving.

The bakery was fined $60,000 for breaching the state’s laws on fatigue management for commercial vehicle drivers.

The business had previously been fined twice for failing to implement adequate fatigue management when it was ordered to pay $18,000 in May 2007 and $15,000 in May 2009.

The bakery pleaded guilty to eight charges over two separate prosecutions in the Geraldton Magistrates Court.

The first prosecution involved two offences committed between July and September 2007 where commercial vehicle drivers undertook many journeys during which they did not take the required seven-hour break of non-work time after 17-hour shifts.

In the second prosecution the bakery was found guilty of four offences committed between September 2007 and February 2008 where drivers did not take the required breaks, along with two charges involving drivers not having medical certificates certifying their fitness to drive a commercial vehicle.

The court heard the employer failed to tell employees how long they could drive without a seven-hour break and did not satisfy itself that the drivers understood the requirements for breaks.

Drivers were also not given enough time during shifts for their required breaks and the business failed to have an effective system in place to check, monitor and control the drivers or provide a relief driver.

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