Date of Outcome: 22/05/2018
Coates Hire Operations Pty Ltd (the offender) is a large equipment hire company, with offices across Australia. On 25 August 2016, a mechanic employed by the offender attended the Ararat Wind Farm to conduct maintenance testing on machines on hire, involved in the construction of wind turbines. Testing was conducted on a Coates Telescopic Handler (MT1840) (also known as a telehandler). The telehandler was parked on ground that sloped laterally to the right of the machine. The mechanic observed that the ground under the telehandler was sloping to the right before he entered the cabin. The offender failed to provide training on safe plant operation for maintenance that incorporated reading and understanding the plant load charts in order to assess the impact of the ground slope. It was reasonably practicable for the offender to have provided this training to mechanics undertaking maintenance testing works outside of a factory environment. On 25 August 2016, during testing the telehandler became unstable and tipped over crushing two unoccupied cars. There was a risk of crushing or severing arising from undertaking works on the plant without adequate instruction or training. The offender pleaded guilty and was with conviction sentenced to pay a fine of $15,000.00 and to pay costs of $3,479.00.
Court: Ballarat Magistrates’ Court
Coram: HH Magistrate Stratmann
Category: Failure to provide information, instruction, training or supervision