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Boat company fined for forklift fatality

Thursday, 21 Feb 2013 ( #604 ) - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Local News Story
WorkSafe general manager of health and safety Lisa Sturzenegger.
A Somerton boat company was found guilty and fined $275,000 last month over the death of a worker in December 2011.

Monst (formerly Lloyd Brewer Marine Pty Ltd) was convicted in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on charges relating to the death of independent contractor Andrew Lagana.

The company, which manufactures, services and sells boats, was found guilty of failing to provide or maintain a safe system of work and failing to provide information, instruction, training or supervision in relation to overhead obstructions and risk controls.

The incident occurred when another worker was reversing a forklift and its mast became entangled in the chain of a crane, pulling a hoist unit and chain off a gantry. The hoist unit and chain hit Lagana on the head.

He was taken to the Alfred Hospital, where he died a short time later.

The court was told that a hazard identification and risk assessment should have been conducted in the workplace to identify specific obstacles and overhead obstructions. In addition, information, instruction and training should have been provided to employees and other persons at the workplace regarding overhead obstructions and risk controls.

WorkSafe general manager of health and safety Lisa Sturzenegger says the incident highlights the need for ongoing appropriate hazard identification and risk assessment.

"While this employer was aware of the risks associated with the use of forklifts and had complied with WorkSafe instructions in the past, there had been changes made to the workplace prior to this incident.

"As a result, a worker has not returned home to his family and friends at the end of the day. Ensuring your hazard identification and risk assessment is up-to-date could help avoid a similar tragedy in the future."
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