POLYMASTER TANK UNLOADING FAILURES: MULTIPLE CHARGES LAID

Swan Hill water tank manufacturer, Polymaster Pty Ltd, is facing charges following two separate incidents involving a fatality and serious injury during the unloading of water tanks.

Polymaster has been charged with three violations of section 21(1) of our OHS Act - failing to provide and maintain a workplace that was safe and without risks to health.

In addition the company is facing two charges under section 23(1) - failure to ensure that individuals who were not employees were not exposed to health and safety risks.

In one incident that occurred in September 2021, a customer was assisting a Polymaster employee in unloading a water tank delivered to their Yarroweyah property when it rolled off the flatbed delivery truck and crushed him, causing serious injuries.

Less than three months later, at a Barwon Downs property, another water tank delivered by a Polymaster contractor rolled off the delivery truck during unloading, resulting in a fatality. The victim in this case was a neighbour who was helping with the unloading process.

On both occasions, it's alleged the company breached section 21(2)(a) of the OHS Act by failing to provide and maintain a safe system of work to reduce the risk to health and safety by implementing a mechanical unloading process of rainwater tanks from trucks or trailers. WorkSafe also alleges Polymaster failed to prohibit the involvement of persons other than employees in the unloading process.

It is further alleged the company breached section 21(2)(e) of the OHS Act in the second incident by failing to provide employees with necessary information, instruction and training to ensure rainwater tanks were unloaded safely. The matter is listed for a filing hearing at Shepparton Magistrates' Court on 19 September 2023.

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