Prosecutions

Sorrento Hotel fined after forklift incident

In September 2018 the Hotel Sorrento, a hotel, bar and restaurant in Sorrento, had approximately 80 to 90 employees. There was a Toyota forklift which was used to move palletised foodstuffs.

On 2 September the two maintenance attendants were clearing the workplace’s cool-room of empty kegs and decided to use the forklift to move a pallet of chips in front of the kegs. The usual operator of the forklift, the head chef was not at work that day. It's unclear from the WorkSafe summary as to who exactly was injured - whether it was one of the maintenance attendants or a non-employee - but as one attendant drove out of the cool-room’s driveway and onto a public road to turn, he ran over the injured person's left foot. The man sustained two fractured metatarsals, was taken to hospital and had to take three weeks off work. The hotel was fined $17,500 plus $3,592 costs - it is unclear whether they were also convicted.

Stevedoring company enters into Enforceable Undertaking

DP World Melbourne Limited is a stevedoring company operating 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, from West Swanson Dock Terminal, Mackenzie Road, West Melbourne and employs, amongst others, machinery maintenance workers. DP World has about 60 Straddle Carriers on site which lift and move 20 and 40 foot shipping containers around the dock.

On 22 February 2017 maintenance personnel were working on a Straddle Carrier to change a hydraulic steering cylinder, which weighs approximately 100 kgs. The first worker was attempting to position the eye of the hydraulic cylinder into the bracket - the cylinder slipped out and under great force, hit him in the forehead and nose. A second worker was injured requiring knee surgery after the first worker fell on him.

WorkSafe found that DP World did not have any procedures in place as the task was a common job - an Improvement Notice was issued regarding carrying out the task of replacing the hydraulic steering cylinders on straddle cranes. Compliance was achieved. A new procedure was developed by DP World for replacing of cylinders on straddle carriers and steps to undertake this task have now been documented. The Straddle Carrier is no longer required to control the hydraulics of the steering cylinder. This new process was communicated to staff at a tool box talk.

An Enforceable Undertaking was accepted in lieu of prosecution with an operational period of 14 months. The total cost of the research undertaking is $312,000 (inclusive of GST).

To keep up to date with prosecutions, go to the WorkSafe Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage.

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