Comcare to prosecute Linfox

Monday, 07 December, 2009

Comcare, Australia’s federal safety regulator, recently initiated proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Linfox Australia in relation to a forklift incident at Welshpool in Western Australia that resulted in serious crush injuries to a Linfox employee.

The proceedings allege that Linfox contravened federal workplace safety laws by failing to take all reasonably practicable steps to protect the health and safety at work of its employees. The maximum penalty for this type of legislative breach by a body corporate is $242,000.

The proceedings arose from an incident in December 2007 in which a Linfox forklift operator was using an Omega forklift to move a loaded rail container that weighed approximately 32,000 kg.

During this activity, the container struck a stack of stationary rail containers. At the time of this impact, the forklift was carrying the container at a height of at least 8 m above the ground. The impact resulted in the forklift overturning, crushing the forklift cabin with the employee inside. The employee sustained severe crush injuries to his legs and left arm.

Comcare CEO Paul O’Connor said: “This court action demonstrates Comcare’s commitment to take any necessary enforcement action, including prosecution, to ensure employers keep a focus on safety.”

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