3 min read

Young, inexperienced workers exposed to a dangerous work environment

The case

SafeWork NSW v O2 Motorsports Pty Ltd; SafeWork NSW v Weissel (2020)

O2 Motorsports Pty Limited (company) provided mechanical services and repairs for motor vehicles and jet skis. It also operated a small used car dealership and manufactured biofuel. Mr Nathan Weissel was the sole director, head mechanic and manager of the company.

On 11 August 2017, Mr Weissel directed Mr Dylan Cowlishaw, a 19-year-old employee, to make a batch of biofuel. This was only the second time Mr Cowlishaw had undertaken the manufacture of biofuel, although he had previously assisted other workers during the manufacturing process. Mr Cowlishaw had told Mr Weissel that he did not feel competent and was nervous about making biofuel, but Mr Weissel assured him that he would provide training and get Mr Cowlishaw comfortable. However, Mr Weissel only supervised Mr Cowlishaw during the initial steps of the manufacturing process.

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