Titan Plant Hire and managing director Jason Madalena fined $1.14 million over Dwayne Beaumont’s death

The largest ever penalty for a workplace death in the Northern Territory has been handed to a Darwin equipment hire company and its managing director over the death of a worker in 2019.

Titan Plant Hire was fined $960,000 over the death of 30-year-old Dwayne Beaumont, who died after he was struck by an unsecured excavator bucket while guiding the hired machine onto another vehicle.

The company’s managing director Jason Madalena was fined $180,000 over the incident, which happened at a hire site in Darwin in April 2019.

The penalties were handed down on Wednesday in the Darwin Local Court, where Mr Madalena and the company last week pleaded guilty to failing to conduct due diligence in preventing the death.

Charges were also laid against the excavator operator but withdrawn after his death in 2021.

The court heard Mr Beaumont had not been provided adequate training or site inductions prior to the accident, and had raised those concerns before loading the excavator.

Judge Ben O’Loughlin said the company’s health and safety policies amounted to “ink on paper” and that implementing measures to prevent Mr Beaumont’s death would have been relatively easy and inexpensive.

Safety watchdog NT Worksafe said in a statement that the fines are the highest of their kind ever handed to a private company in the territory.

“This tragedy could have been easily avoided if Titan Plant Hire had appropriate systems in place to ensure the safe operating and loading of machinery and equipment which was being hired,” Work Health and Safety regulator Peggy Cheong said.

Mr Beaumont’s former partner and family told the court of their grief in victim’s impact statements delivered last week.

In another statement issued on Wednesday, Mr Beaumont’s sister said it was a comfort to see the court recognise the seriousness of the incident.

Source: ABC News

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