Australia Post fined over forklift accident


Judge critical of management about failure to follow though with safety and training policies

December 6, 2011

Australia Post has been fined $160,000 after Comcare court proceedings centred on a Queensland forklift accident.

The federal work health and safety regulator had launched Federal Court proceedings last December after a 73-year-old postal delivery contractor had been hit by a forklift at the Toowoomba Mail Center in 2008 and had subsequently lost his lower right leg.

The accident had occurred on a loading dock and Australia Post had pleaded guilty to failing to control traffic in the busy area.

The judge, Justice John Logan, was reportedly critical of Australia Post’s "chain of command" and the lack of implementation and enforcement of safety policies and training at the mail centre.

Comcare says it does not comment on court matters.

Last year, when the prosecution was announced, its Work Health and Safety Group General Manager, Neil Quarmby, had said: "We are focused on working with employers and employees to prevent such safety incidents.

"However, where warranted, Comcare will take court action to enforce the need for appropriate safety systems to be put in place for the protection of workers."

Costs of $80,000 were awarded against Australia Post.

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