Gympie’s Wood Industries Pty Ltd hit with $35k workplace safety fine

A Gympie workplace health and safety accident that left a senior employee with two fractured legs has left a timber business with a big bill to pay. The decade-old Gympie business has been slapped with a $35,000 fine for failing in its duty of care when one of its workers was seriously injured when a forklift was reversed into him.

The staff member was working at the company’s Drummond Drive site on March 8, 2019 when another employee backed the forklift into him, fracturing both of his legs. Gympie Magistrates Court heard an investigation following the injury revealed the forklift’s reversing indicator and warning light were only working intermittently.

They had been in this condition for several weeks; investigators were unable to determine if they were operating when the employee was injured. The company had also failed to provide any clearly outlined areas for pedestrians to safely walk on the site, and while safety procedures had been created in 2010, neither the forklift driver nor the injured employee could recall ever having seen them.

Wood Industries had a spotless Workplace Health and Safety record before the incident, the Gympie court heard. They had since sold the business.

Magistrate Graham Hillan accepted Wood Industries’ guilty plea to the offence, noting the company had shown remorse, shutting the business for three days to address the safety failures.

He ordered the company pay an additional $1600 in costs, and that no conviction be recorded.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

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