Western Freight pursues WorkCover for legal costs

WorkCover ordered to pay Western Freight Management’s legal costs after commission overturned decision holding it liable for truck driver's death

By Brad Gardner | August 31, 2011

Western Freight Management has pursued WorkCover NSW for the legal costs it forked out successfully defending itself over the death of one of its truck drivers.

The NSW Industrial Relations Commission has told WorkCover to pay up for prosecuting the operator after Brian Lloyd was crushed between a loading dock and a truck at a Star Track Express depot in 2004.

Justice Michael Walton earlier this year overturned Justice Roger Boland’s decision convicting and fining Western Freight Management of an occupational health and safety breach.

The operator relied on the landmark High Court ruling involving farmer Graham Kirk, arguing WorkCover did not specifically identify the measures the company should have taken to prevent the death.

"We order that the respondent [WorkCover] shall pay the appellant’s costs of the proceedings before Boland…and this appeal as agreed or assessed," the bench of the Industrial Relations Commission ruled.

Walton says Western Freight Management suffered "procedural unfairness" because the company was not informed of the charge it had to meet.

The accident happened at the Star Track Express depot at Unanderra, about 90 minutes south of Sydney. The confined space of the depot forced drivers to reverse jack-knife their rigs. Lloyd died when he was struck by a truck attempting the procedure.

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