There was a large spill of powder on a wharf which was mostly cleared up.  A manager when driving on the wharf skidded in his vehicle.  He alerted other managers to the issue and asked that employees be warned of the spill.  However, no steps were taken to isolate the site from others driving on the wharf nor tell other operators on the wharf of the issue.

A worker of another operator drove over the area and lost control.  His vehicle went off the wharf resulting in his tragic drowning.  The slippery area should have been isolated to prevent access on foot or in vehicles and all people accessing the wharf should have been warned, not just employees of the company involved.  The H&S policies were defective for minimising the hazard and training of staff was also inadequate.

The company was fined $23,000 and ordered to pay $152,000 reparation.

Alan Knowsley
Health & Safety Lawyer