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$825K in fines for failure to implement a safe work system

Hungry Jacks, Visy Paper and Veolia Environmental Service were found collectively responsible for the death of a pedestrian who was hit by an industrial recycling bin after it was emptied.

In 2013, an elderly man and his wife were walking by the loading bay of a Melbourne Hungry Jacks outlet when they were pushed to the ground by a waste bin as it was being lowered by a front-lift truck.

Both sustained a range of injuries and had to be rushed to hospital. The man later died that night.

During the trial earlier this month, the court heard that when the incident happened, not one of the companies had a traffic management system in place for this task.

Moments before the accident took place, the driver was unable to see the couple as the bin had blocked his view while it was being lowered.

All three employers were found guilty of breaching section 23(1) of Victoria’s Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 for failing in their duty to other persons, and were fined $275,000 each.

Following the trial, Paul Fowler of WorkSafe Victoria said that the likelihood of trucks and other large machinery coming into contact with pedestrians must be eliminated and that “WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute companies that fail … to do this”.

“Failing to address the serious risks posed … is simply not good enough and in this case the consequences were tragic,” he said.

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