Brisbane Auto Recycling Pty Ltd has become the first entity in Queensland to be charged with industrial manslaughter under section 34C of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) .
Brisbane Auto Recycling is accused of negligently causing the death of a worker by failing to separate a mobile plant from pedestrians, after a man was hit and killed by a reversing forklift at a wrecking yard in Rocklea earlier in May this year. Under section 34C, the PCBU could be fined up to $10 million.
Directors Asadullah Hussaini and Mohammad Ali Jan Karimi could also be fined up to $600,000 each, or jailed for up to five years, if convicted of reckless conduct – category 1 under section 31 of the Act.
Queensland Work Health and Safety Prosecutor Aaron Guilfoyle launched the proceedings after Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and police investigated the fatality and a brief of evidence was referred to his office.
In a statement, Mr Guilfoyle noted that:
This is the first prosecution for industrial manslaughter in Queensland and is the result of a comprehensive investigation into the fatality.
The charge of industrial manslaughter includes allegations that Brisbane Auto Recycling caused the death of their worker by failing to effectively separate pedestrians from a mobile plant, and failed to effectively supervise workers, including the operators of mobile plant.
The charges against Hussaini and Karimi relate to their failure as directors to ensure that the business had those systems in place.
The Queensland Bill introducing the WHS offence of industrial manslaughter passed Parliament in October 2017, with amendments explicitly excluding lack of intent as a defence against a charge.The charges will be mentioned in the Holland Park Magistrates Court on 1 November 2019.