The Carrum Downs manufacturer of truck bodies has been found guilty of breaching our OHS Act, causing the death of a worker while unloading poorly secured fibreglass and particle board panels.
The panels, which were stored in shipping containers, were delivered to the workplace, but there was no safe system of work for unloading them.
An investigation revealed that the day before the incident, Prestige had emailed the supplier, complaining that the panels had shifted during transport, causing some of them to be damaged.
At the workplace, there was a risk that employees tasked with the work could be crushed by falling panels, suffering serious injury or death.
The court found that the company had failed to provide and maintain a safe system of work associated with the unloading of the containers that was free of risks to health.
The company should have eliminated or reduced the risk by:
- Ensuring that the panels were packed in such a way that they could be unpacked with a forklift, stillages, skids, or crates.
- Ensuring that panels that were not packed safely were returned to the supplier to be repacked.
Having failed to implement these control measures, Prestige was charged with a breach of s21(1) & (2)(a) of the Act.
The court imposed a fine of $225,000 with conviction.