Safework SA - Conviction for failure to maintain equipment
SafeWork SA has successfully prosecuted Woolworths Group Limited following a bakery trolley falling onto a worker causing serious injuries.
SafeWork SA Executive Director, Martyn Campbell said employers have a primary duty to provide a safe working environment to workers, including equipment required in the course of their work.
"No matter what equipment you are using, big or small, all equipment should be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure the health and safety of workers", said Mr Campbell.
This case shows how easy it was for SafeWork to successfully prosecute a PCBU where a worker was injured and they could not demonstrate a system of inspection and maintenance for the equipment involved..
It's a timely reminder that a similar prosecution and conviction within the University would potentially have far greater impact on our business. At a minimum this would involve damage to reputation (in the context of how students and the community view the safety standards at University) but could also place at risk grant funding from agencies due to a lack of safety systems of work.
For information on the requirements to inspect and maintain plant and equipment, please refer to the Plant/Equipment safety management handbook chapter.