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Last week WorkSafe sent out its regular newsletter for HSRs. Items of interest include an invitation to access WorkSafe's HSR Support channel by scanning a QR code. At this stage we're reluctant to recommend WorkSafe's support service for injured workers, as we believe there are a few issues to be resolved. If you are injured on the job, then contact your union as soon as possible if you have any questions or issues. You can also contact the VTHC's Union Assist for expert advice. Check out the April edition of the HSR Newsletter.

Company fined after serious forklift injury

A food service wholesaler has been fined $35,000 after a worker was struck by a forklift and seriously injured at a Dandenong South warehouse last year.

C.C.B. Enterprises Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Dandenong Magistrates' Court on Thursday to a single charge of failing to provide a safe working environment, and a single charge of failing to notify WorkSafe immediately after being aware that an incident had occurred.

The company was fined $35,000 without conviction.

In April 2021, the worker was walking across the warehouse floor when a forklift operated by another worker reversed around a corner and struck him, running over his foot and leg.

The injured warehouse assistant was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery to repair a compound fracture of his leg, multiple fractures of his foot, and muscular damage that required a skin graft.

He suffered post-operative infections and has not since returned to work.

The court heard that the company did not have in place a traffic management plan to separate pedestrians and forklifts, and that it was reasonably practicable for the company to have implemented clearly designated exclusion zones, pedestrian walkways and safety barriers.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer said duty holders will be held accountable for failing to protect workers from the known risks associated with forklifts.

"It's frustrating that forklift injuries are still so prevalent considering the enormous amount of guidance, information and regulation that occurs," Dr Beer said.

WorkSafe has charged a company after a worker died following a fall at a residential construction site in Templestowe in April 2020.

The 26-year-old man died in hospital from head injuries suffered when he fell more than two metres from scaffolding onto a concrete floor.

Ourarchi Pty Ltd faces one charge under section 26(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that the workplace was safe and without risks to health.

The company has also been charged under section 38(1) of the OHS Act for failing to notify WorkSafe immediately after becoming aware that an incident had occurred

WorkSafe further alleges the company breached section 39(1) of the OHS Act by failing, without reasonable excuse, to ensure that the site where the incident occurred was not disturbed.

The matter is listed for a filing hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 11 May 2022.

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