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Prosecution Details

Defendant Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd [1]; Wayne Marshall [2]
Trading Name Industrial Galvanizers (WA) [2]
Section 19(1)(a) [1]; and 21(1)(b) [2]
Regulation Not Applicable
Offence Date Thursday, 21 December 1995
Description of Breach(es)

[1] Failed to provide and maintain a safe system of work with respect to loading and movement of vehicles within the premises of Industrial Galvanizers.

[2] Failed to ensure the safety of a person, not being his employee, is not adversely affected when moving a partially laden semi-trailer wwith an unsecured load within the premises of Industrial Galvanizers.

Background Details

On 21 December 1995 Mr Marshall arrived at Industrial Galvanizers (WA) premises and parked his truck in the yard. The truck consisted of a prime mover with a tray top trailer. Prior to arriving at the premises he had not been told by Industrial Galvanizers (WA) to bring any particular equipment nor was he given any specific instructions as to securing the 12 pipes on the tray or indeed that he would be loading and delivering pipes. He estimated each pipe weighed between 1 to 1.5 tonnes and the total weight was about 15 tonnes. Mr Marshall used pieces of timber chocked between the outside pipe of the second layer and the pipes resting on the tray. Mr Marshall had neither a cradle for carrying pipes nor metal pins (stanchions) to insert into the coaming rail. He proposed that when the 12 pipes had been loaded he would secure them with chains and ropes in combination with timber chocks.

The pipe loading was undertaken using a forklift driven by an employee of Industrial Galvanizers (WA). No formal instructions had been given to the employee about the loading of trucks. The employee put pipes on the tray and one rolled off to the far side away from the loading side. The loading continued until 11 pipes had been placed on the tray leaving the pipe that had rolled off on the far side of the tray. To enable the forklift to retrieve the fallen pipe the prime mover and trailer had to be moved. The employee left the forklift and with the yard supervisor went to look at the fallen pipe. Mr Marshall at that time moved the truck forward about a metre. At this stage the load on the truck had not been secured. Four pipes fell onto the ground and the Industrial Galvanizers employee was pinned by one of the pipes. The timber chocks had snapped. The employee received fractures to his jaw, ribs, pelvic region, teeth and internal injuries to various organs.

The Magistrate said it was not sufficient for the company to say that the truck driver was responsible for safety of the loading process. The company had allowed the truck driver to assume all supervision of the loading process, simply because he was the driver. However, the truck driver had no relevant special expertise, had not been informed of the nature of the load prior to arriving at the company's premises and nor had he been told of the need to bring any particular equipment for use in the loading process.

The Magistrate concluded that the company had no safe system of work in place at all with respect to the loading process.

Outcome Summary convicted
Conviction Date 12 Sep 1997
Court Perth Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $10,000 [1] and $10,000 [2]
Costs $3165.50 [1] and $1988.50 [2]
Charge Number Not available