The District Court has ordered a company to pay nearly $465,000 after their lack of effective health and safety plans led to the death of an employee.

The employee was unloading a vehicle as a regular part of his role. While unloading the vehicle the employee was accidentally struck by another vehicle that was being operated by another employee.

The District Court found that the company:

  • had ineffective traffic plans around the worksite;
  • failed to ensure that there was an adequate traffic management system in place;
  • failed to eliminate or minimise the risks associated with the vehicle’s blind spots; and
  • failed to effectively facilitate adequate communication between the employees operating in the work site.

The Court determined that it was reasonably practicable for the company to check its systems of work to ensure that they were safe, and that the company should have remedied any potential issues found if the systems of work were not identified as safe.

It was decided that the company’s failure to take these reasonably practical steps increased the risk of an employee suffering serious injury or death and were therefore breaches of the required health and safety standards.

The company was ordered to pay $130,000 in emotional harm reparation, $120,000 in consequential loss reparation, and a fine of $212,000.

As an employer it is crucial to meet your health and safety requirements to minimise the risk of injury to employees. The failure to do so can lead to tragic consequences.

If there is confusion around these requirements, it pays to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.