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A senior support worker has been issued with a suspended jail sentence after a woman with a severe disability died.

Tracey Gilboy, a senior support worker from Leeds in the UK allowed Alison Evers to be given a lolly on 20 April 2012, the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported in a media statement last week.

Evers was unable to ground down the lolly in her mouth enough to swallow it safely. She choked and later died in hospital.

Following an investigation, the HSE noted in a media statement that “Gilboy failed to take reasonable care for the safety of Alison Evers in a way that almost immediately set in motion a chain of events that directly led to her death”.

Gilboy pleaded guilty in the Leeds Crown Court to breaching Section 7(a) of the UK’s Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. She was sentenced to 80 days jail, suspended for twelve months.

For more details, visit the HSE

Thiess Services Pty Ltd has been fined a total of $600,000 after an overloaded barge capsized throwing three workers into the water seriously injuring one of them.

Thiess Services Pty Ltd was charged, prosecuted, convicted and fined for two breaches of the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, following the overloading of the barge on two separate occasions at Patterson Lakes, Victoria, in April 2012. Thiess Services Pty Ltd was fined $250,000 for the first charge and $350,000 for the second.

In the first incident, on 19 April, the barge designed to carry about five tonnes was overloaded with a 15-tonne excavator, according to a WorkSafe Victoria media statement. Although the barge tilted dangerously, the excavator operator was asked to reposition the boom of the excavator to counterbalance the weight. The barge eventually made it to its destination without capsizing.

In the second incident, on 27 April, the barge was used to move a 13-tonne excavator. On this occasion the barge capsized. The excavator operator, who was in the cabin of the excavator at the time, and two other men on the barge were thrown into the river. The operator sustained three broken ribs, a lung infection, a smashed top dental plate, an enlarged heart and psychological injuries. The two other men were uninjured, WorkSafe Victoria said.

The court heard that in 2010, NSW Maritime had assessed the stability of the barge and told Thiess Services Pty Ltd of its concerns about the loading and transportation of a 5.3-tonne excavator, WorkSafe Victoria said.

NSW Maritime subsequently issued a Certificate of Survey for the barge, which included limiting the operation of the barge “in accordance with loading conditions in a NSW Maritime approved stability book onboard”, WorkSafe Victoria said. But the barge was used without the book until after the two incidents in 2012.

“The company had known for several years that experts had expressed concerns over the stability of the barge when carrying a weight of more than five tonnes,” WorkSafe Victoria executive director of health and safety, Marnie Williams said in a media statement.

“Rather than minimising the risks by obtaining a stability book, and adhering strictly to the conditions it set out, the company simply chose to play Russian roulette with the lives of its employees and contractors.”

For more detail, visit WorkSafe Victoria

Published on 19 November 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email.  Subscribe online today.

Visy Paper Pty Ltd has been fined more than $400,000 and Baker & Provan Pty Ltd has been fined $225,000 following the death of a worker in each of their respective companies.

A forklift operator was killed at Visy Paper Pty Ltd’s waste recycling facility at Smithfield on 12 December 2012 when a front-end loader reversed into him, according to a SafeWork NSW media statement.

Following an investigation into the incident, Visy Paper Pty Ltd was charged and prosecuted in the District Court of NSW. Last month the company was found guilty of a breaching the NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011, fined $412,500 and ordered to pay costs.

In another incident, a fitter and machinist at Baker & Provan Pty Ltd was killed when the crane he was maintaining fell on him.

Baker & Provan Pty Ltd was also prosecuted in the NSW District Court for breaching the NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011. The company was found guilty, convicted and fined $225,000 and ordered to pay costs.

For more details, visit the Visy Paper Pty Ltd and Baker & Provan Pty Ltd findings

Published on 8 October 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today.

Kenoss Contractors has been fined $1.1 million following the death of a truck driver.

The sentence was handed down in the ACT Magistrates Court last week, according to The Canberra Times and ABC media reports.

The truck driver was electrocuted on a Kenoss Contractors worksite in Canberra in 2012.

The company was found guilty of breaching the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (ACT) in the ACT Magistrates Court in June. During the same hearing, the charge against Kenoss project manager Munir al-Hasani (ie, that he was an officer of the corporation and failed to exercise due diligence to prevent the failings of the corporate defendant) was dismissed.

Despite the large fine imposed on the company, it won’t be paid because the company went into liquidation before the case was heard.

“On [the] one hand, this is disappointing [because] there’s a dead worker at the end of this tale, but on the other hand, this is a very strong warning to company leaders right around the country,” ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe was quoted in The Canberra Times.

The sentence is yet to be published online.

For more details on the June verdict, visit the ACT Magistrates Court

Published on 27 August 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email.  Subscribe online today.

A Western Australian company has been fined $180,000 after two of its workers fell from a scissor lift and were seriously injured.

The scissor lift platform basket in which the two workers had been operating was elevated to about 10 metres when an overhead crane hit it in February 2013, according to a WorkSafe media statement.

One of the workers stayed in the basket as the scissor lift fell to the ground. The other worker grabbed the overhead crane as it passed by, but he eventually fell to the ground.

The worker who stayed in the basket sustained arm, shoulder and rib fractures and a punctured lung. The other worker dislocated his arm and leg and fractured his arm, leg, foot, pelvis and lumbar spine.

HVLV Pty Ltd (in liquidation) was prosecuted in the Midland Magistrates Court for breaching the WA Occupational Safety and Health Act. The company was fined $180,000 and ordered to pay costs of $784. It was convicted on 4 August 2015.

“Although the company is in liquidation, it was considered important to prosecute the company and have a conviction recorded as a deterrent to others,” WorkSafe WA Acting Executive Director Ian Munns said in a media statement.

“Other employers in the same or similar industries need to appreciate that if safety measures are not taken, they will be liable to prosecution and substantial penalties.”

For more details, visit WorkSafe WA

Published on 13 August 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter


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