Three companies have been convicted and fined a total of $825,000 following the death of a pedestrian who was struck by a commercial recycling bin at a Mill Park fast food outlet.
Hungry Jacks Pty Ltd, Visy Paper Pty Ltd and Veolia Environmental Service (Aust) Pty Ltd were found guilty of one charge each, in contravention of section 23 of the OHS Act, for failing to ensure people other than employees were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.
Each company was fined $275,000 following a trial in the Melbourne County Court
The court heard that in March 2013, a husband and wife aged in their 80s were walking through a Hungry Jacks car park when they walked in front of a Visy truck which was lowering a large recycling bin.
The couple were knocked to the ground by the bin, and suffered a range of injuries. They were both taken to hospital where the husband later died.
The court heard that although the truck driver performed all the necessary checks before lowering the bin, no traffic management system has been implemented by Hungry Jacks, Visy Paper or Veolia Environmental Service.
This was despite the truck having to reverse up to 80m to access the bin located between the Hungry Jacks entrance and drive-through, while negotiating cars and pedestrians in the car park.
WorkSafe Acting Executive Director of Health and Safety Paul Fowler said the incident was a tragic reminder of the importance of separating pedestrians from trucks in car parks and drive ways.
“Failing to address the serious risks posed by trucks operating in shared spaces is simply not good enough and in this case the consequences were tragic,” Mr Fowler said.
“Employers must eliminate or reduce the likelihood of trucks and other large machinery coming into contact with pedestrians, and WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute companies that fail in their responsibility to do this.”
Employers can remove the risk of trucks impacting pedestrians by;
• Ensuring the collection of waste and recycling bins is completed a safe distance from the intersections of loading bays, driveways and car parks.
• Limiting the collection times for bins and other equipment, so as to reduce the likelihood of pedestrian interaction.
• Developing and implementing a traffic management plan to address how trucks can operate safely in areas where pedestrians may be present.
Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email email@example.com or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.