2 min read

Company fined $262,500 in relation to truck driver fatality

The Case

SafeWork NSW v Australian Softwood Pty Ltd (2022)

Australian Softwood Pty Ltd operated the Allied Timber Products (ATP) sawmill located in the Bathurst region of NSW. The company engaged forklift drivers at the ATP site to load and unload timber packs from the back of trucks.

On 22 July 2019, a truck driver was killed when he was struck by a 580-kilogram pack of timber batons being loaded onto the back of his truck. The truck driver had been instructed to stand on the driver’s side while the batons were being loaded. The forklift operator had given the truck driver a thumbs up signal, indicating that he should stay where he was while she unloaded the batons. The truck driver disappeared from the forklift operator’s line of sight. The forklift operator heard “two bangs” before finding the truck driver unresponsive on the ground next to a pack of timber. He sustained serious injuries and was declared brain dead 2 days later.

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