Shipping operator Toll Transport have been fined a record USD $1 million following the court verdict on the tragic death of a dockworker over two years ago.
Stevedore and father-of-three, Anthony Attard (42), was working on the deck of the Tasmanian Achiever in May 2014 when he was crushed by a trailer being used to transport shipping containers. It is understood that the incident occurred whilst Mr Attard was placing rubber floorcoverings on the deck to hold shipping containers in transit. Despite wearing a hi-vis safety vest, Mr. Attard was run over by a MAFI trailer whilst working.
An investigation by WorkSafe Victoria found that Toll's safety precautions were unsatisfactory and the requirement to have a member of staff observing the deck for persons was not enforced. WorkSafe’s Health and Safety executive director Marnie Williams, said “Toll had a system in place to manage the serious risks associated with loading and unloading its ships but some of its procedures were inadequate and the most critical part of all — having a second pair of eyes on the deck — was not enforced.”
Ms. Williams went on to say, “It was a catastrophic failure that led to a worker dying in the most horrible of circumstances, and traumatising all the people who tried so hard to save him”.
Toll Transport pleaded guilty in court after a lengthy case. Toll Group Managing Director Brian Kruger said since the incident, additional safety improvements had been made to prevent such an incident occurring again.
“Toll deeply regrets the incident that led to the death of our co-worker and colleague Anthony Attard,” he said in a statement.
The fine is the largest ever passed by a court in Victoria for a single offence under work-related health and safety laws.