Date of Outcome: 29/07/2015

Outcome: On 31 October 2014, Southern Grampians Shire Council (SGSC) employees were clearing roadside vegetation on the side of a road at Hamilton. In the course of using a backhoe to knock down a partially sawn tree, the tree fell onto an employee who sustained shoulder, ankle and leg injuries. SGSC failed to provide and maintain an adequate exclusion zone at the workplace.

On 29 July 2015, SGSC entered a plea of guilty at the Hamilton Magistrates' Court to one charge contrary to section 21(1) and 21(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 for failing to provide its employees a work environment that was safe and without risks to health in that it failed to provide a safe system of work for tree felling, in that it failed to enforce exclusion zones around trees being felled involving use of mobile plant. SGSC was convicted and fined $7,500 and ordered to pay costs in the amount of $3,317.

Court: Magistrates' Court

Fine: $7,500.00

Costs: $3,317.00

Published: 07/08/2015

Category: Crush injuries; Failure to conduct a risk/hazard assessment; Failure to provide a safe system of work

Appeal: No