Putting the brakes on work safety

A workplace accident in Rappville that resulted in the death of a 60-year-old employee has seen Finray Pty Ltd fined $225,000 and ordered to pay WorkCover's legal costs.

On August 5, 2008, the man was using a loader to load logs onto a semi-trailer for transport to a nearby sawmill. Sometime after loading the logs, the employee was working at ground level and the loader rolled forward, crushing and killing the man.

A WorkCover investigation found the loader was in poor condition and unsafe. The Industrial Court was told the machine had no brake mechanism for some time before the accident. In handing down his decision, Justice Marks said the safety breaches were serious and that the loader was inherently unsafe because of its size and the lack of a park brake. It was a serious breach to require a worker to use such equipment.

WorkCover NSW's general manager of workplace health and safety division John Watson said the risks to the employee's safety were entirely foreseeable and the incident was preventable and should never have happened.

"This is a sad reminder of the need to make sure all workplace equipment is safe. This company did not do this and a man has died," Mr Watson said.


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