A Brisbane Company has been charged with industrial manslaughter involving a category one work health & safety offence of reckless conduct resulting in the death of a worker with a forklift.
Brisbane Auto Recycling has been charged by the Work Health & Safety Prosecutor under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for industrial manslaughter relating to a fatality that occurred at the Rocklea wrecking yard where a worker was killed by a reversing forklift in May 2019.
Two directors of the company have also been charged for engaging in reckless conduct that resulted in the death of a worker.
Reckless conduct is a serious offence and, if proven, may result in significant penalties, including long terms of imprisonment for the accused.
Proof associated with reckless conduct may be challenging for prosectors. Prosecutors will need to prove to the Court that the accused:
- engaged in reckless conduct;
- that their conduct was voluntary;
- that it endangered the life of another person;
- acted recklessly; and
- acted without lawful authority and excuse.
First industrial manslaughter challenge for Work Health and Safety Prosecutor
The Work Health and Safety Prosecutor was appointed in March 2019. This case will serve as a challenge to the office of the Prosecutor.
Grace Grace, Queensland Minister for Industrial Relations said “I have been advised by the independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor that he has initiated the industrial manslaughter and reckless conduct proceedings in relation to a workplace fatality which occurred earlier this year”
“Just over two years ago, the Palaszczuk Government introduced tough new laws aimed at protecting Queensland workers.
“These laws are about saving lives and ensuring all Queenslanders return home to their loved ones after a day’s work.
“They are the first of their kind to be introduced by a state jurisdiction and leave negligent employers culpable in workplace deaths with nowhere to hide.
“Individuals guilty of industrial manslaughter will face up to 20 years imprisonment, with corporate offenders liable for fines of up to $10 million.”
According to a news release, following investigations by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and Queensland Police, a brief of evidence was referred to the Office of the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor.
“After careful consideration, I decided to take action against the company and its directors”, Work Health and Safety Prosecutor Aaron Guilfoyle said.
“This the first prosecution for industrial manslaughter in Queensland and is the result of a comprehensive investigation into the fatality.
“The charge of industrial manslaughter includes allegations that Brisbane Auto Recycling caused the death of their worker by failing to effectively separate pedestrians from mobile plant, and failed to effectively supervise workers, including the operators of mobile plant.
“The charges against Hussaini and Karimi relate to their failure as directors to ensure that the business had those systems in place.”
The charges will be mentioned in the Holland Park Magistrates Court on Friday 1 November 2019.
If you want to get your safety program or forklift safety back on track, one of our consultants at Safetysure can help you. Ask us about a no-obligation free quote.
UPDATE: A verdict has now been handed down for this case. You can read our content here