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Freight operator fined over Melbourne warehousing incident

Worker suffered fractured pelvis after four-metre fall from order picker


Global Freight and Logistics (Aust) Pty Ltd is fined without conviction over breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act, WorkSafe Victoria reports.

The company was found guilty by the Werribee Magistrates’ Court following an ex-parte application, and was sentenced to pay $35,000 plus costs of $1,891.

It operated a logistics business at a warehouse in Truganina and its employees used an “item of powered mobile plant known as an Order Picker”, WorkSafe explains.

“Using or operating the Order Picker is ‘high risk work’ under the OHS Regulations with the consequence that employees were required to hold a valid high-risk work licence.

“On 17 October 2018 an employee was using the Order Picker to retrieve a product from a shelf.

“The employee was not wearing a harness and did not hold a high risk work licence.

“The Order Picker had two side rails and two back rails.

“The back rails were able to be lifted up in order to get in and out of the Order Picker.

“The employee lifted the back rails in order to retrieve the product from the shelf but in doing so fell through the gap were the back rails were and hit the ground about 4 metres below.

“The employee was ultimately taken to hospital having suffered a fractured pelvis.”

Another Victorian operator is facing WorkSafe dangerous goods charges

WorkSafe explains Global Freight and Logistics:

  • Failed to provide a safety harness for the use of the Order Picker but had not provided a retractable lanyard to be attached to it at the time of the incident
  • Was unable to produce any employee records for the injured person
  • did not provide any operating procedures to ensure that its employees were aware of the safety requirements for operating the Order Picker
  • Did not know whether the employee held a high-risk work licence.

It was “reasonably practicable” that the company: create a safe operating procedure for the use of the order picker, create a safe system of work that ensured only qualified employees used the order picker and required all employees who used the order picker to wear a safety harness with a retractable lanyard.

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