Prosecutions

Company Fined After Inflatable Incident

Xtreme Party' provides entertainment equipment at events, including a 14m long and 3m wide obstacle course 'inflatable', through which participants race.

On 1 September 2018, a football club hired Xtreme Party to operate and supervise the inflatable for approximately 300 children aged between 7 and 13 celebrating the end of the football season.

The offender provided a single supervisor for the entire inflatable for the day.

Whilst children were using the inflatable, a 12 year old boy was sitting at the bottom of the slide waiting for other children to pass. A heavier child jumped from the top of the slide and landed next to the boy. This caused him to be bounced out of the slide, over the 66cm inflatable wall onto a sand bag anchor. The boy sustained a broken coccyx and cracked vertebra.

The offender failed so far as was reasonably practicable to ensure that persons other than employees were not exposed to risks to their health and safety by failing to ensure that the slide walls were the requisite height of 90cm and providing a sufficient number of supervisors to monitor participants using the inflatable.

The offender pleaded guilty and was fined $8,000 without conviction and ordered to pay costs of $3,161.

Source: WorkSafe Prosecution Result Summaries

 

$250k Fine After Manslaughter Charge Downgraded

Initially charged with the industrial manslaughter, Queensland Organics, has been fined $250,000 under an alternative charge of 'breaching section 32 ("Failure to comply with health and safety duty–category 2") of the Queensland Work Health and Safety Act 2011, in failing to comply with its primary duty of care and exposing workers to the risk of death or serious injury.'

Queensland Organic’s Narangba factory had a bagging room where bags were filled with fertiliser, sealed, flattened and stacked by machinery, moving through each stage on a conveyor belt.

Workers were required to manually remove, reseal and return bags not properly sealed.

In March 2020, the worker was found unconscious with his head and torso drawn partly into the flattener.

He could not be revived, dying from a severe traumatic brain injury.

Queensland Organics was accused of industrial manslaughter in requiring the worker to operate unguarded plant only to have the charge downgraded.

A Workplace Health and Safety Queensland investigation found Queensland Organics’ system exposed personnel to risk of contacting a moving conveyor and sustaining serious or fatal injuries.

Queensland Organics had not conducted a risk assessment for the bagging room nor implemented any safe operating procedures for the conveyor belt.

Inexplicably the Magistrate declined to record a conviction against the company.

Source: OHSAlert Wednesday, 25 May 2022 

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