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Prosecution Details

Defendant Total Energy Systems Ltd
Trading Name Not Applicable
Regulation 4.55 [2]
Offence Date Wednesday, 17 September 1997
Description of Breach(es)

[1] being an employer, failed so far as was practicable to provide and maintain a working environment in which its employees were not exposed to hazards and in particular failed to provide such instruction and supervision of its employees as was necessary to enable them to perform their work in such a manner that they were not exposed to hazards in contravention of section 19(1)(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and by that contravention caused the death of an employee.

[2] Being an employer at a workplace at which there was an industrial lift truck, failed to ensure that the industrial lift truck was operated in accordance with AS 2359.2.

Background Details

The deceased person was employed by the defendant as a general labourer. His functions were to assist in the loading of trucks with ammonium nitrate, general labouring duties and yard work.

On the day of the fatality, the deceased was working with another employee on a general clean up of the yard. The other employee was driving the forklift shown in the photograph while the deceased was standing on a pallet mounted on the forks, and a 44-gallon drum was also on the pallet for any rubbish they collected. The other employee stopped the forklift in front of a storage shed, the deceased got off the pallet, picked up a bag, placed the bag into the drum and again stood on the pallet. The driver reversed the forklift from the shed, he used the brake to stop the vehicle, and looked down to change gear from reverse to forward, when he looked up he saw the deceased fall onto the ground. The driver turned the steering wheel sharply to miss the deceased with the dual drive wheels of the forklift, but not realising how quickly the forklift turned, the right rear steering wheel went over the deceased, and proved fatal.

The defendant pleaded guilty. The penalty was imposed under section 19(7).

Lead Image
Outcome Summary convicted
Conviction Date 06 Dec 1999
Court Karratha Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $20,000 [1] and $500 [2]
Costs $9,150
Charge Number 915/98 [1] and 916/98 [2]