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SafeWork NSW discusses safety rebate after transport business fined for truck driver injury

SafeWork NSW is offering rebate for safety equipment to keep transport workers safe

A Sydney transport and warehousing business has been convicted and fined $210,000 after heavy steel pipes fell from the back of a flatbed trailer and injured a truck driver in 2019.

The New South Wales Department of Customer Service released the news and urged transport companies to remain vigilant with safety.

AST Services entered a guilty plea in the District Court of New South Wales to a breach of section 19/32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for failing to ensure as far as reasonably practicable the health and safety of workers.

The court heard the incident occurred after heavy steel pipes were bundled onto a contracted truck driver’s flatbed trailer by one of AST’s forklift operators at the company’s previously owned site at Port Botany.

While the front of the flatbed trailer had support cradles and stanchions (upright bars, posts or frames that form a type of support or barrier), the rear of the trailer did not have the support cradles or stanchions required to safely transport pipes as recommended by the Load Restraint Guide 2018 published by the National Transport Commission.

Chains were used to secure the pipes to the trailer and the load was visually inspected by the forklift driver and the truck driver before the allotted cargo was taken to a site at Newcastle.

While the truck driver was removing chains from the rear passenger side of the trailer’s load, a bundle of three pipes weighing about 720 kilograms fell and seriously injured the truck driver.

AST Services Pty Ltd has a right to appeal the sentence.

Department of Customer Service BRD Investigations and Enforcement Executive Director Valerie Griswold says safety must be improved on work sites across New South Wales to reduce injuries.

“SafeWork NSW has a wealth of resources available to support businesses and employees,” Griswold says.

“We encourage people to take a moment, visit our website and find out what improvements might be made and what they may apply for.”

Eligible small business owners in New South Wales including contractors may apply for a $1000 rebate to purchase safety items. The rebate may be used to purchase safety equipment for trucks.

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