A former long-haul freight business in NSW has been sentenced and fined $360,000 after a long-distance truck driver was struck and killed by the loading ramp of a trailer he used to transport two vehicles in 2019.
The company, formerly known as Territory Transport, pleaded guilty in the District Court of New South Wales to one count of failing to ensure as far as reasonably practicable the health and safety of workers.
“The court heard the truck driver was fatally injured after hauling two passenger vehicles from the Northern Territory to New South Wales,” said the acting head of SafeWork NSW, Andrew Gavrielatos.
“During the course of the work trip, the driver visited the employer’s depot at Hanwood in rural NSW where it was decided a different prime mover and trailer would be used.
“The hydraulic ramps for the trailer were not inspected or tested before the drive to Sydney.”
The court was told the truck driver completed the drive to Ingleburn, removed safety chains from one of the trailer’s heavy metal loading ramps and walked near the ramp.
An expert found that the trailer’s ramp hydraulics failed which caused the ramp to fall and hit the driver, who did not survive the injuries.
The court heard the company concerned was a good corporate citizen with no prior record since it commenced operations in 2011.
Representatives for Territory Transport have a right to appeal the sentence which was handed down on 21 September 2022.
“In the transport industry, unloading is one of a number of work activities identified as high risk and may cause serious injuries or death,” Gavrielatos said.