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Prosecution Details

Defendant Coca-Cola Amatil (Aust) Pty Ltd
Section 21(1)(b) and 21(3)
Offence Date Wednesday, 21 April 2004
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer failed, so far as was practicable, to ensure that the safety or health of a person not being its employee was not adversely affected wholly or in part as a result of work in which its employee was engaged and by that contravention caused serious harm to a person; contrary to sections 21(1)(b) and 21(3) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

At all relevant times the Accused operated a business producing and selling non-alcoholic drinks. The Accused operated its business from several sites in Australia including a site at Kewdale.

Another company supply the Accused with pallets, which were used to store and transport drink bottles. The pallets were transported from Canning Vale to the Accused's premises in Kewdale by a transport company. On 21 April 2004 an employee of the transport company drove a truck into the Accused's yard in Kewdale and began to remove the straps that held the pallets onto the truck. He had only removed two straps when he saw a twin tyne forklift driven by an employee of the accused driving towards him.

The forklift driver had not been trained to drive a twin tyne forklift or to unload the pallets from the trucks. He had only been trained to drive a single tyne forklift. The truck driver and the forklift driver had a short conversation about the weather before the truck driver went back to removing the straps. While he was standing within about three metres of the truck the forklift driver drove the twin tyne forklift up to the truck, and removed some pallets from the back of the truck.

While doing this the forklift knocked a pallet off the truck and the pallet fell onto the truck driver's head and neck.

The truck driver was taken to hospital where he received treatment for a lacerated scalp and was diagnosed as having suffered a C1 fracture to his vertebrae which was caused by the impact of the pallet on his head and neck.

At all relevant times the Accused:
a. did had not have a documented procedure for the unloading of pallets from the trucks that delivered them to the Accused's Kewdale yard ; and or
b. had not trained its employees to safely unload pallets from the trucks; and/or
c. had not trained the forklift driver to unload the trucks using a twin tyne forklift.

The Accused pleaded guilty.

Outcome Summary Convicted
Conviction Date 02 Sep 2005
Court Magistrates Court of WA - Perth Registry
Fine $40,000
Costs $585.25
Charge Number 34955/05