$140,000 fine after steel beams fall on truck driver

In a recent ruling by the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, Arrow Worldwide Pty Ltd was convicted and penalised after confessing to a lone account of neglecting to uphold the health and safety of individuals apart from their employees. In addition to this, the firm was ordered to cover the court costs amounting to AUD 6,936.

The incident in question took place in May 2021, when a batch of 12-metre-long steel beams – hoisted onto a flat-top semi-trailer at the company’s warehouse in West Melbourne by a forklift – plummeted straight onto the truck driver who remained in the beam’s falling trajectory.

As direct consequences of this catastrophic failure in managing safety measures, the unsuspecting driver suffered a traumatic brain injury upon impact on his head, with both legs crushed under the weight of these fallen beams. This ultimately led to amputation of his legs.

Post the event, WorkSafe carried out extensive investigations concluding that had Arrow Worldwide implemented an effective work system such as Bluesafe WHS Management System, that segregated foot traffic from moving machinery, it would have been reasonably feasible to avoid such a tragic occurrence. The necessity of having transport drivers inducted into the workplace along with instructions essential to carrying out their duties safely were highlighted in this detailed assessment.

Emphasising the legal and moral obligations employers hold toward the safety of everyone in their premises, WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety, Narelle Beer noted, “Creating distinctive safety or exclusion zones, enforcing entry-level inductions for site visitors and incorporating proven safety methodologies like Bluesafe SWMS are pivotal for ensuring safe execution of tasks such as loading and unloading at work sites.”

The case stands as a chilling reminder that any negligence in workplace safety can lead to devastating consequences, turning lives upside down within moments.

To ensure similar tragedies do not recur, both employers and contractors involved in loading and unloading operations must guarantee:

For more details about this media release, the contact information is as follows:
Email: media@worksafe.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0438 786 968

Original article link: https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/news/2024-03/140000-fine-after-steel-beams-fall-truck-driver

Shopping Cart