Boral guilty after road worker's death

Thursday, 19 May, 2005

Boral Construction Materials has been fined $200,000 by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission sitting in Court Session following the death of a road worker near Goulburn in 1999.

The company was found guilty on 27 February 2004 of breaching Section 15(1) of the Occupational Health 1983 by failing to ensure the health and safety of the worker. The man died on 10 March 1999 when a road roller he was driving onto a low loader slipped and crushed him. He was not wearing a seatbelt.

In handing down her penalty, Justice Schmidt said: "The immediate cause of (this) tragic death appears to have been his failure to wear the seatbelt which, on the evidence, would have kept him safe. "Most regrettably, the defendant had a seatbelt policy which required the wearing of the seatbelt provided on the roller, when the work of loading the roller onto a float was undertaken, yet it was not adhered to." WorkCover NSW Chief Executive Officer, Jon Blackwell, reiterated: "The incident which led to this tragic death was clearly foreseeable. Such incidents reinforce the need for WorkCover's continuous efforts to educate both employers and workers on the importance of adhering to risk management plans and safety policies in the workplace."

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