Manager fined after incident led to co-worker having leg amputated

Manager fined after incident led to co-worker having leg amputated

Manager fined after incident led to co-worker having leg amputated

A manager operating a forklift has been fined $15,000 in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court for failing to comply with his duty, breaching s32 of the Work Health and Safety Act (“the Act”), following an incident where a co-worker sustained injuries requiring the amputation of his left foot.

The defendant worked for a manufacturing company as a manager or supervisor but often drove forklifts in the company’s factory area as part of his duties.

On 14 February 2022, he was unloading a delivery of glass from a truck into the factory, which required several journeys to complete the unloading.

He requested a co-worker to act as a ‘spotter’ for the forklift, as well as hold the load by placing his hand on the glass, with the first couple of trips being uneventful.

However, on the final journey, the co-worker stumbled, and the wheel of the moving forklift being operated by the manager ran over his left foot.

He was immediately transported to a nearby hospital, but due to the extent of his injuries, his left leg was amputated just below the knee.

 He also sustained a laceration on his left arm, which required staples.

Following the incident, both workers were diagnosed with PTSD.

In evidence before Magistrate Michael O’Driscoll, it emerged that the manager had conducted safety talks regarding forklift operations for the workforce in March 2021.

During the discussions, the manager informed the workforce that walking beside a moving forklift was prohibited at all times.

This direction was also consistent with the prevailing Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) for the tasks undertaken at the factory.

Magistrate O’Driscoll accepted evidence that the manager’s acts were deliberate and repeated with a significant risk of injury, as, in fact, occurred.

In imposing a fine of $15,000 on the manager, Magistrate O’Driscoll considered his early guilty plea, his cooperation with the investigation, and no prior history of offending.

No conviction was recorded.

Forklift operating manager fined $15,000 for causing amputation of co-worker’s leg | owhsp

For queries about safety, operating plant, or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 1300 925 529, 0417 622 178 or via email to

Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice on workplace relations and employment law. It does not constitute legal advice, and it is always advisable to seek further information regarding specific workplace issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Ref: 401.1123

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