Today sees the firs Industrial Manslaughter charges in Qld mentioned in court. The PCBU, Brisbane Auto Recycling Pty Ltd, could be fined up to $10 million for negligently causing the death of a worker, who was struck by a reversing forklift at a wrecking yard in Rocklea in May this year.
Directors Asadullah Hussaini and Mohammad Ali Jan Karimi could be fined up to $600,000 each or jailed for up to five years if convicted of breaching section 31 (“Reckless conduct–category 1”) of the WHS Act.
Queensland Work Health and Safety Prosecutor Aaron Guilfoyle launched the proceedings after Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and police investigated the fatality, and a brief of evidence was referred to his office.
“After careful consideration, I decided to take action against the company and its directors,” Guilfoyle said in a statement issued today.
“This is the first prosecution for industrial manslaughter in Queensland and is the result of a comprehensive investigation into the fatality,” he said.
“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.”
Eye’s all across Australia will be on this prosecution as other states implement their own Industrial Manslaughter legislation to see how case proceeds. It’s important from a safety point of view that this case is seen as successful otherwise the new legislation may be viewed as a toothless tiger if prosecutions are unable to be made successfully.
We will keep you updated on any following events.