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Linfox Australia fined following crush incident (Media release)

13 February 2015

Comcare welcomes the Federal Court's decision to fine Linfox Australia following a forklift incident in which an employee suffered serious head and facial injuries.

Linfox Australia has today been fined $90,000 for failing to provide a safe work environment.

In October 2011, a Linfox Australia employee was working in Arndell Park, NSW.

While the man was working in a shipping container unloading pallets, a pallet slipped from a moving forklift and trapped his head against the wall of the container.

The Court found that the work being undertaken by the employee was unsafe because of Linfox's failures to adequately assess risk and supervise the employee.

The Federal Court found that Linfox Australia breached section 16 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 (Cth) in respect to the incident. The Court found Linfox Australia failed to:

  • adequately identify hazards and assess risks associated with the task
  • ensure that the safety of its employees was not compromised in connection with the handling of pallets and forklift use
  • ensure that its employees were provided with adequate information, training, instruction and supervision to carry out work safely and without risk to their health.

In his judgement, Justice Flick said 'the unloading of these pallets gave rise to difficulties different to the unloading of containers from other suppliers and was an increased risk to the safety of employees.'

Comcare's Regulatory Operations Group Acting General Manager, Paul Orwin, said this case highlighted the importance for companies with high-risk operations to ensure there were appropriate health and safety systems in place.

'There is a serious risk of injury or death when performing work of this nature,' Mr Orwin said.

'Employers need to undertake the appropriate risk assessments to ensure employees carrying out these duties understand the requirements and are safe,' Mr Orwin said.

Media contact:
Media Manager, Comcare
0478 305 675

Page last reviewed: 15 December 2019
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1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 29 Jun 2022