The District Court has ordered a company to pay $658,000 after they failed to identify health and safety risks which led to a fatal accident.

The company operated machinery near a road which produced large amounts of dust. The dust was picked up by the wind, and subsequently engulfed a nearby motorway causing a white out. This led to a multi vehicle crash, in which one driver was killed.

The company should have conducted a thorough risk assessment prior to the commencement of work and implemented a work plan that accounted for, and mitigated the risks that may be present.

The Court held that this was a severe breach of the required health and safety standards that workplaces are required to abide by, and ordered the company to pay a fine of $360,000, emotional harm reparations of $210,000 and consequential loss reparations of $88,000.

Assessing the risks should have led to this risk being identified and reasonable steps put in place to prevent the hazard of large amounts of dust being thrown up over the road.

If there is confusion around the required health and safety measures in the workplace, it is wise to seek advice from a professional ion the area.


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