An employee of a transport company was hit by a forklift and tragically killed on her first day at work. 

Her employer and the owner of the business where she was at the time she was killed were both convicted and fined for health and safety failures.  There was no safe system in place to keep employees on foot separated from forklifts in the workplace.  The employee was run over and killed when she went to get a drink during her shift.

Her employer was fined $240,000 and the business owner was fined $200,000.  Both organisations had paid emotional harm reparation to the victim’s family prior to their convictions.

This case illustrates again that both the direct employer and the organisation running the work site can both be liable following accidents as multiple parties can have duties in relation to the same employees and the same workplaces.  Employers and others in charge of workplaces all have a duty to coordinate and cooperate to ensure that there are no gaps in the health and safety systems.  That did not occur in this case and tragically an employee was killed on her very first day of work.

Alan Knowsley
Health & Safety Lawyer