Peter Stoitse Transport has been fined $110,000 after ignoring safety warnings, resulting in two separate incidents involving milk tankers in 2020.
The company was sentenced after pleading guilty of failing to provide or maintain safe plant, failing to ensure persons other than employees were not exposed to health and safety risks, and failing to provide or maintain safe systems of work.
Frustratingly, the company’s offending follows earlier convictions and a $490,000 following the 2018 death of a tanker driver in an incident at Leongatha.
In the recent incidents, one driver faced brake issues, causing a jackknife, and another driver lost control due to faulty brakes and suspension.
A WorkSafe investigations found numerous safety issues including problems with brake slack adjusters, deflated suspension airbags, worn brake drums and suspension shackle brushes.
The court heard it was reasonably practicable for the company to ensure its tankers were kept in a safe mechanical condition, or replaced, and to maintain a system of work to ensure vehicles with reported mechanical defects were not driven until repaired.
WorkSafe stressed the importance of learning from past mistakes in managing risks related to work vehicles.
Employers are required to establish safe work systems, conduct regular vehicle maintenance, ensure trained and competent drivers, and set rules for safe road use.