Driver given marching orders for 'inexcusable' actions

By: Brad Gardner

Boom Logistics sacks "uncaring" driver who ignored warning sign his trailer was about to detach from his truck

A driver who ignored a warning sign that his trailer was about to disconnect from his truck has been labelled "uncaring" after showing no remorse for his potentially serious actions.

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission was told Boom Logistics employee Alan Baker failed to check a dolly and float combination was secured to his prime mover and kept on driving even after feeling a substantial jolt.

A company investigation revealed Baker drove another two kilometres until the trailer came off and then displayed a "blasé" attitude during a disciplinary meeting, prompting Boom Logistics to sack him.

The 59-year-old truck driver claimed unfair dismissal by saying he never received proper training to secure the trailer, but Commissioner Annette Larkin dismissed his case.

"In my view, the applicant’s [Baker] attitude and behaviour in not immediately stopping the vehicle is inexcusable," Commissioner Annette Larkin says.

Larkin accepted that Baker had received training after Boom Logistics produced assessment sheets.

"The applicant did not perform the necessary visual sight test for reasons known only to him," Larkin says.

Boom Logistics launched an internal investigation after the incident and questioned why the driver would not be concerned about a substantial jolt.

"In my view he was uncaring as to the potential consequences," a company manager told the AIRC.

Larkin says Baker attempted to blame others for his actions rather than accept blame.

As well as saying Baker’s conduct was adequate grounds for dismissal, Larkin ruled Boom Logistics had followed a correct procedure before sacking him.

She says the driver was given every opportunity to respond to the allegation of failing to perform his duty and that he was notified of the reason for his termination.

"I am satisfied and so determine that the termination of the applicant’s employment…was not harsh, unjust or unreasonable," Larkin says.
Baker told the AIRC he had never used a dolly and float combination before and had only been given limited training in using floats.

Furthermore, Baker says he only received training from another driver rather than a certified trainer.

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