Business owner charged with serious offences

NT Worksafe has charged an Alice Springs arborist over an incident with a woodchipper last year that left a worker seriously injured.

Peter Van Der Pasch, 41, from Petals Pruning Perfection and Tree Removals, was cutting tree branches at a home in November 2022 when the incident happened.

NT Worksafe alleges he and two of his employees were feeding branches into a woodchipper, when the “chipper hood” detached from the machine, striking one of the workers.

The injured employee was taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, where they were treated for serious internal injuries.

An NT Worksafe investigation allegedly found the woodchipper had been damaged almost two months earlier in a road incident.

NT Worksafe alleges subsequent repairs “failed to return the machine to a safe standard”, and that Mr Van Der Pasch knew it was defective at the time of the incident.

He has been charged with three breaches of the Work Health and Safety Act.

They include two charges of reckless conduct, and one charge for “failing in his primary duty of care by not having a safe system of work”.

If found guilty of all charges, Mr Van Der Pasch faces a maximum penalty of $1.3 million, five years in prison, or both.

He is due to face the Alice Springs Local Court later this month.

Source: ABC News

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