RECKLESS conduct charges have been laid against a Queensland based cattle company and two of the company’s officers after a worker suffered a serious crush injury to their arm.
According to NT WorkSafe two station hands were installing fence posts at Vermelha Station in the Katherine Region in November 2022. One worker was operating a tractor with an attached post-driver, while the other worker was manually positioning the fence posts. The worker manually positioning the fence post had his arm crushed by the post-driver, which later had to be amputated.
NT WorkSafe will allege that the post-driver had been modified, removing built in safety features and the tractor, which was over 10 years old, lacked appropriate labels or marking to differentiate the functions of the various levers which were located together.
It is also alleged that both workers were not provided adequate training or instruction, and a safe system of work was not implemented on the use of the tractor and post-driver.
NT WorkSafe has laid six charges in relation to the incident:
- Vermelha Pty Ltd faces two charges under Section 31 of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 (the Act) for reckless conduct.
- Hoang Diep Nguyen, a director of Vermelha Pty Ltd, faces two charges under Section 31 of the Act for reckless conduct.
- Lindsay Clive Elliott, the manager of Vermelha Station, also faces two charges under Section 31 of the Act for reckless conduct.
If found guilty of all charges, Vermelha Pty Ltd faces a combined maximum penalty of $6 million, whilst Mr Nguyen and Mr Elliot each face a combined maximum penalty of $1.2 million or 5 years prison or both.
Alternative charges under Section 32 and 33 of the Act for failing to comply with health and safety duty have also been laid against all three defendants.
- The matter is listed for mention at the Darwin Local Court on Tuesday 3 October 2023 at 9.30 AM.
Source: NT WorkSafe