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Townsville company penalised after truck driver death

Timber business fined for industrial accident


WorkSafe Queensland reports recently that a Townsville timber company was fined $210,000 in the Townsville Magistrates Court after a truck driver died in a workplace incident in 2016.

On September 5, 2016, a transport driver, identified as John Wassmuth, was undertaking a delivery to the company, located at the Cleveland Trade Centre in Townsville.

A worker in a company-owned forklift was unloading from one side of the truck, with the driver out of view on the other side releasing a loading strap.

“Tragically, the forklift operator dislodged a load of timber which fell and crushed the truck driver,” WorkSafe reports.

A Victorian quarry operator was also recently fined over a dump truck driver’s death. Read more, here

“In sentencing, Magistrate Cathy Wadley acknowledged the timely plea, noting the defendant is a small company and had no previous convictions.

Wadley acknowledged the defendant had demonstrated remorse and was a good corporate citizen.

“Her Honour considered the offence was serious, the defendant was solely responsible for the breach and steps it had to take to address the risk could only be considered mildly inconvenient and not burdensome with minimal cost,” WorkSafe says.

“She did not consider this a serious dereliction of duty by the company and the breach occurred because of a lack of risk management.

“Her Honour accepted recording of a conviction would have adverse economic implications on the company and exercised her discretion not to record one.”

Along with the $210,000 fine, the company was also ordered to cover court costs of almost $1,100.


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