Administrative safety controls over-rely on workers' judgement, leave no room for inadvertence or inattention, and are "never enough" on their own, a court has found in convicting an employer over crush injuries.
A WHS regulator investigating reports that a worker's psychiatric injury involved WHS contraventions, by a major employer and one of its officers, has been granted court orders giving it access to a transcript of related compensation proceedings.
In convicting and fining an employer $245,000, after a worker's legs were amputated in an unfit-for-purpose machine, a judge has stressed that post-incident acts of contrition are far inferior to proactively avoiding injuries in the first place.
PCBUs are obligated to implement procedures and training that "deal with any shortcomings" of employees and eliminate unsafe process shortcuts, a judge has ruled in handing a company a pre-discount WHS fine of $300,000, and refusing to apply the maximum reduction for its early guilty plea.
A PCBU has been handed a record WHS penalty, while a second PCBU has been fined heavily, after they failed to prohibit or halt impromptu modifications to "extremely powerful" plant, and a worker was crushed to death.
In fining a company director for WHS breaches, a tribunal has found she failed to ensure her business complied with its duty to refuel a burner in a safe manner. The tribunal also questioned the suitability of equipment where risk-control hinges on strict compliance with every safety step in a manual.