Resources safety regulator secures conviction
Queensland’s Industrial Court has imposed a suspended period of imprisonment on the Director of a quarry operator company, regarding the death of Sean Scovell in June 2012 at a site in Central Queensland.
Resource Safety Health Executive Director Mark Stone said the sentence was for breaching obligations under mining safety legislation.
“This was a terrible incident in which the worker sustained fatal injuries while performing maintenance on an operating conveyor,” Mr Stone said.
“The court found there were multiple failures that lead to Mr Scovell’s death, including a failure to ensure the relevant part of the conveyor was protected by a guard; a failure to ensure workers were properly trained in operating equipment; a failure to properly commission or risk assess the plant; and a failure to ensure proper supervision of workers, including the deceased.
In handing down its decision Industrial Court President, His Honour Justice Martin said the consequence of the incident was particularly severe.
“A man lost his life in dreadful circumstances, the legislation is designed to alleviate the risks to workers as much as is practicably possible,” Judge Martin said.
Mr Stone said the sentence of imprisonment recognises the seriousness with which the law regards the safety and health obligations employers owe their workers.
“The company director must not commit another offence punishable by imprisonment within a period of three years otherwise he may go to prison,” Mr Stone said.
“This decision highlights why industry must keep worker safety and health front of mind. I hope it deters the behaviours and decisions which led to the failures identified by the court that cost a man’s life.
“The vision of the resources safety and health regulator is zero serious harm and we have zero tolerance for unsafe worksites and practices.”
Last updated 25 June 2020