NSCA Foundation

Cattle station fall from height lands $1.55m fine

Friday, 21 February, 2020

Cattle station fall from height lands $1.55m fine

Northern Territory WorkSafe (NT WorkSafe) has charged Queensland-based company Hewitt Cattle Australia and Queensland builder Ryan Watts after a serious incident at Ambalindum Station, Alice Springs, in which Watts and a subcontracted worker fell from a height as they were lifted in a man cage by a telehandler.

Hewitt Cattle Australia has been charged with breaching section 32 of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 for failing in its primary duty of care, and for breaching section 38 of the Act for failing to notify NT WorkSafe of the incident. Watts has been charged with breaching section 155(2) of the Act for failing to produce documents and information requested by NT WorkSafe as part of an investigation.

NT WorkSafe alleges that Hewitt Cattle Australia and Watts failed to provide a work environment without risks to health and safety as per section 19(3)(a), failed to provide safe plant and structures as per section 19(3)(b), failed to provide safe systems of work per section 19(3)(c), and failed to ensure the safe use, handling and storage of plant per section 19(3)(d). The cattle station also allegedly failed to provide information, training, instruction or supervision to protect all persons from risk arising from work being carried out, as per section 19(3)(f).

Watts also failed to comply with a written notice from NT WorkSafe to produce requested documents and information in writing. Hewitt Cattle Australia faces a maximum combined penalty of $1,550,000 for both charges, while Watts faces a maximum penalty of $10,000. The matter is listed for mention in the Alice Springs Local Court on 19 March 2020.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Hypervision

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