Prosecutions

Hospital charged over alleged assault on nurse

WorkSafe has charged a Melbourne hospital after a nurse was allegedly assaulted in its acute psychiatric unit. Austin Health has been charged with two breaches of the OHS Act for failing to maintain a workplace that is safe and without risk to health.

The regulator has charged the hospital under section 21(1) and 21 (2)(a) of the OHS Act for failing to maintain safe systems of work; and under section 21(1) and 21(2)(e) for failing to provide information, instruction and training.

The charges relate to an incident on 17 September 2019 in which a patient allegedly assaulted a nurse in the psychiatric unit's high support area. The matter is listed for a mention hearing at Heidelberg Magistrates' Court on 6 October 2021. Source: WorkSafe media release

To check for any Victorian prosecutions before the next edition, go to WorkSafe Victoria's Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage. 

UK: British Airways hit with £1.8m serious injury fine

British Airways has been fined over AD$3.3m following a vehicle collision at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport which left a worker with serious crush injuries.

Southwark Crown Court heard that on 16 March 2018, an employee was struck by a tug pulling a train of dollies, the vehicles used to transport baggage around the airport. She was knocked under another passing tug with dollies loaded with luggage.

An investigation by UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the injured worker was using the centre of the roadway between the two lanes as a walking route and this unsafe practice had been commonplace in the baggage hall for at least ten years. The investigation also identified significant failings in the general management of health and safety and workplace transport risks, including issues relating to supervision and monitoring, risk assessment and training. British Airways plc pleaded guilty to a criminal safety offence and was fined £1.8 million and ordered to pay costs of £35,724 (AD$65,610).

HSE inspector Megan Carr said: “The situation in the baggage hall at Heathrow Terminal 5 was an incident waiting to happen. British Airways failed to appreciate the serious nature of the risks to which its employees were exposed and as a result failed to take appropriate action to ensure they were properly protected.” Read more: HSE news release. Source: Risks 1003

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