$140,000 fine issued after steel beams fall on truck driver

A warehouse, storage and transport company in Victoria was convicted and fined $140,000 after a truck driver was struck on the head and had both legs crushed by a 1.5-tonne pack of steel beams.

Arrow Worldwide was recently sentenced in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to a single charge of failing to ensure that persons other than employees were not exposed to health and safety risks. The company was also ordered to pay costs of $6936.

The court heard that 12-metre long steel beams fell from a flat top semi-trailer after being loaded by a forklift at the company’s West Melbourne warehouse in May 2021 – striking the truck’s driver who was standing in the fall shadow.

The beams hit the driver’s head, causing a traumatic brain injury, and crushed both of his legs, which were later amputated.

A WorkSafe Victoria investigation found it was reasonably practicable for Arrow Worldwide to provide and maintain a system of work that separated pedestrians from moving machinery, required transport drivers to remain in a marked safety zone, and required them to be inducted into the workplace before work began; as well as provide instructions to transport drivers on the system of work.

“We know that pedestrians and mobile plant don’t mix and safety or exclusion zones along with workplace inductions for anyone visiting the site are a crucial part of ensuring safety during loading and unloading work,” said WorkSafe Victoria executive director health and safety, Narelle Beer.

“Tragically, in this case a worker has suffered, horrific, life-changing injuries that could and should have been prevented.”