NT WorkSafe charges cattle operation over fall, company faces $1.5M in fines

NT WorkSafe charges cattle operation over fall, company faces $1.5M in fines

Northern Territory WorkSafe has handed down a $1.5 million fine over a serious incident at a cattle station near Alice Springs after two workers fell from a man cage lifted by a telehandler.

Hewitt Cattle Australia and Queensland builder Ryan Watts have both faced charges – the former with breaching section 32 of the WHS Act 2011, for failing in its duty of care and for failing to notice WorkSafe of the incident. The latter has been charged over failing to produce the information requested by the regulator.

The charges relate to an incident in February of 2018 in which Mr Watts and a fellow worker fell after being lifted in a man cafe by a telehandler.

NT WorkSafe alleges that the incident meant that both Mr Watts and Hewitt Cattle failed on the following points:

  • provide and maintain a work environment without risks to health and safety as per section 19(3)(a);
  • provide and maintain safe plant and structures as per section 19(3)(b);
  • provide safe systems of work per section 19(3)(c);
  • ensure the safe use, handling and storage of plant per section 19(3)(d);
  • provide information, training, instruction or supervision necessary to protect all persons from risk to their health and safety arising from work being carried out as part of the business or undertaking as per section 19(3)(f); and
  • notify NT WorkSafe of a notifiable incident as per section 38.

In addition to the above, Mr Watts also failed to produce documents pertaining to the workplace health and safety standards in place at the operation and in light of the above, now faces a maximum fine of $10,000.

Hewitt Cattle Australia faces a maximum combined penalty of $1,550,000 for the charges.

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