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Prosecution Details

Defendant Midalia Steel Pty Ltd
Trading Name Not applicable
Section 22(1)(a) AND 21(4)
Regulation Not Applicable
Offence Date Friday, 20 November 1998
Description of Breach(es)

Being a person who had control of a workplace where persons who were not its employees worked, failed to take such measures as were practicable to ensure that the workplace was such that persons who were at the workplace were not exposed to hazards.

Background Details

On 20 November 1998 a privately owned semi-trailer was being loaded by the driver of the semi-trailer with assistance from an employee of the defendant company who was operating an overhead crane when some of the load fell from the truck severely injuring another member of the trucking company.

The defendant has a policy that its employees were not to get onto the back of trucks being loaded. This meant that at this warehouse any hooking or unhooking of chain slings on the back of the truck had to be undertaken by the driver.

In this case the driver had no qualifications in slinging and dogging work and had only ever previously attached one set of chains to a load in his life. No one at the defendant company asked him about his qualifications and/or experience to undertake this work.

While trying to reposition some Rectangular Hollow Sections (see bundle right hand top of tray in photograph) it twisted because the chains were not attached correctly and caused a quantity of unsecured flat steel (see top centre of load) to fall to the ground injuring another worker working on the ground who was organising webbing straps to secure the load. This photograph was taken after the steel was re-positioned on the tray of the truck and secured with straps.

Her Worship MS Bennet-Borlase SM noted that the hazard was clear and foreseeable. It was considered practicable for the company to have ensured that persons involved in the loading or shifting of materials were suitably experienced to do so. Her Worship said that in her view, the defendant was responsible for ensuring that steel loads were fastened and secure - this was not the responsibility of the truck driver who may in fact be unqualified. Her Worship also noted that although the employee operating the overhead crane had been trained by the defendant when he first joined in 1996, he had not been re-trained after he had returned to the company in September 1998, following a 15 month absence. Her Worship expressed the view that this was an unwise move on the part of the company.

The defendant pleaded not guilty. The fine was imposed under section 21(4).

Lead Image
Outcome Summary


Conviction Date 07 Apr 2000
Court Perth Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $4,000
Costs $1,412
Charge Number 48642/99