VIC: construction company fined $50,000 after worker crushed

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Thursday, 4 November, 2021 - 12:00
Incidents & prosecutions

A civil construction company has been fined $50,000 following the death of a worker who was crushed while guiding machinery onto a truck in Mildura, Victoria.

Multiworks Australia Pty Ltd was sentenced in the Mildura County Court after pleading guilty to a charge of failing, as far as was reasonably practicable, to provide a safe workplace.

On 24 October 2017, a truck driver suffered fatal chest injuries as he stood on the upper deck of the truck.

The court heard that a drum roller was being reversed onto the truck’s lower deck, when it suddenly sped up and jumped onto the upper deck, crushing the worker.

A WorkSafe Victoria investigation found that the company had failed to prepare and implement a Safe Work Method Statement for high-risk construction work that specifically addressed the loading and unloading of machinery.

WorkSafe Victoria executive director of health and safety Andrew Keen said employers had a duty to prepare and use an SWMS for all high-risk construction work.

“Employers must take the time to identify risks in the workplace and take all reasonable steps to remove or reduce these risks,” Keen said.

“This includes providing clear and written procedures for all aspects of high-risk tasks and making sure that those procedures are followed.”