Transport company fined $60K over serious safety breach

A transport company in Darling Downs has been fined $ 60,000 in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court following a depot disaster.

The incident happened at the company’s depot when an apprentice was struck by a large steel beam and suffered serious injuries. He was welding one of the three beams when he came into contact with a Franna crane and one beam fell on top of another pinning him to the ground.

Head of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Dr. Simon Blackwood said the incident could have been prevented if the company established an exclusion zone and implemented its safe work method statement.

“Unfortunately, the apprentice didn’t hear the crane approaching because he was wearing hearing protection and a welding mask while working at the end of the four-tonne beam,” said Dr. Blackwood.

“The risk had been identified in the defendant’s safe work method statement, but for some reason the control measures weren’t implemented.”

Magistrates Kay Ryan took into account the seriousness of the breach; the significant injuries sustained by the worker; the defendant’s good safety record for 26 years prior to the incident, the company’s contribution to the regional community; and its early guilty plea.

No conviction was recorded. The company was also ordered to pay court costs of almost $ 1,100.

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