A Queensland beef cattle business has been fined $200,000 following the death of a worker who was struck by a telehandler.
AA Bass Trading Pty Ltd faced court last month, where it pleaded guilty to breaching sections 19 and 32 of the state’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011 back in January 2021.
It’s understood a telehandler had been used to load fertiliser into a crop-dusting aircraft when it began reversing. An employee of the PCBU and the grandson of the telehandler operator were standing behind the reversing machine. The grandson moved out of the way and prompted the worker to do the same, but sadly, the worker was run over by the telehandler and suffered fatal injuries.
An investigation found the telehandler’s reversing alarm wasn’t as loud as it was supposed to be at the time of the incident, and a right-side rear vision mirror was not fitted to the machine. It was also discovered that an exclusion zone should have been implemented behind the telehandler, and that workers should have been better trained to implement and stay clear of exclusion zones.
Magistrate Shane Elliot handed a $200,000 fine to AA Bass Trading Pty Ltd but did not record a conviction. The telehandler operator was also fined $20,000 earlier this year for failing to ensure there was a clear path behind the telehandler. He also did not have a conviction recorded against him due to his age and character.
What can be done to avoid this on my site?
Sadly, incidents like this are avoidable. There are a few simple measures you can implement at your workplace to avoid tragic accidents. These include:
Conducting a pre-start or risk assessment on your plant to identify any issues that need to be rectified, such as a missing mirror or quiet reversing alarm.
Conducting repairs and maintenance on your machinery to ensure any problems are rectified.
Implementing controls, such as an exclusion zone behind a reversing machine, to reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring.
Thoroughly training workers on site safety to ensure they know about the importance of exclusion zones behind reversing vehicles.
Using a spotter when reversing heavy machinery to assist with the monitoring of hazards around the plant.
Can Plant Assessor help me to prevent such an incident on my site?
Yes, Plant Assessor can assist in reducing the risk of fatality on your site. Plant Assessor’s risk assessment and pre-starts can help you to identify issues on your machinery that may be hazardous. We will then provide you with corrective actions that can be implemented to help rectify these issues, and make your plant that bit safer. Plant Assessor can also help you with your service and maintenance scheduling, so you know when your machine is due for a check-over and repairs.
If you’d like to know more about how Plant Assessor can help you, contact our team of machinery compliance experts on 1300 728 852 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.