Worker killed through lack of management plan
WorkSafe Victoria v JMAL Group Pty Ltd (2017)
On 5 August 2015, a worker of JMAL Group Pty Ltd was loading and transporting a boom lift crane from a depot at Williamstown to Melbourne Airport. The procedure for this task was to load the crane on the public road outside the depot. On the day of the incident, it was dark and raining. A public vehicle travelling along the road struck the cage. The employee in the cage sustained injuries and later died.
The Court considered the systems of work in place at the time of the incident. The Court heard that:
a. there was no documented traffic management plan in place for loading the crane – this meant that employees and users of the road were put at risk of death or serious injury as a result of collision; and
b. employees were not inducted in a documented traffic management plan.
The Court concluded that it was reasonably practicable for the employer to reduce the risk of injury to employees by developing a safe traffic management plan. JMAL Group pleaded guilty and was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of $275,000 as well as costs of $12,000.
Businesses must ensure they have safe traffic management procedures in place for all work activities that involve the risk of injury from potential collisions. A failure to take these steps will result in significant penalties.
Please note: Case law is reported as correct and current at time of publishing. Be aware that cases in lower courts may be appealed and decisions subsequently overturned.
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