FATAL FORKLIFT INCIDENT SPARKS CHARGES

A worker could face a jail sentence of up to five years after being charged with recklessly endangering a colleague who died due to a toppling forklift load. The fatality reportedly occurred at a Corio warehouse, where a 52-year-old maintenance fitter was allegedly operating a forklift carrying an unsecured load near a colleague.

The load tipped over, leading to the tragic and fatal crushing of the colleague.

WorkSafe Victoria announced last Friday that it charged the fitter with the offense of 'Recklessly Endangering a Person at Work' (under section 32 of the OHS Act) based on the fitter's alleged conduct of recklessly engaging in actions that put another person at serious risk of injury within the workplace.

Additionally, WorkSafe has charged the man under section 25 (Duties of Employees) for failing to exercise reasonable care for the health and safety of individuals who could be impacted by his actions or oversights in the workplace.

If found guilty under section 32, the maintenance fitter could potentially face a maximum penalty of five years in jail along with 1,800 penalty units. This penalty equates to just under $330,000 at the time of the incident. Furthermore, he could be subject to a fine of up to 1,800 penalty units under the section 25 charge. The case is scheduled for a filing hearing in the Geelong Magistrates Court this week.

Source: OHS Alert, 21 August

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