Australia’s Toll Transport to Pay Record Fine over Stevedore’s Death

The Tasmanian Achiever. Image courtesy: ATSB

Melbourne-based shipping operator Toll Transport was convicted and fined a record AUD 1 million (around USD 752,000) over the death of an employee who was crushed to death while helping load the Tasmanian Achiever at Webb Dock in the Port Melbourne in 2014, WorkSafe Victoria reports.

The company pleaded guilty in the Melbourne County Court to one charge under section 21 of the 2004 OHS Act in that it failed to maintain a safe system of work.

The court heard that the company operated a shipping service between Webb Dock in Port Melbourne and Burnie in Tasmania using two ships, the Tasmanian Achiever and the Victorian Alliance.

The loading and unloading of the ships used a roll on, roll off procedure which means all cargo is rolled on and then rolled off at its destination. This process involves shipping containers being placed onto low flat trailers called MAFIs which are capable of carrying up to 4 x 20 foot shipping containers. When fully loaded, a MAFI can weigh up to 90 tonnes.

The MAFIs are pulled on to the ship by trucks referred to as prime movers.

On 20 May 2014, a 42-year-old stevedore was working on the deck of the Tasmanian Achiever placing rubber mats for the MAFIs to rest on during transit. He was wearing a hi-vis vest and using earplugs.

As he worked, a MAFI was pushed up the ramp by a prime mover. The driver stopped at the top of the ramp and then began moving the MAFI into position. The driver did not see the stevedore and ran over him, crushing him under the wheels.

The court heard that Toll had a number of procedures in place to ensure the safety of employees during the moving of MAFIs on to the ships. However, WorkSafe’s investigation found that these were inadequate.

Critically, a key component of the safety procedures – that a fellow stevedore be positioned on the deck to assist with moving mats, directing the prime movers and watching for pedestrians – did not occur. There was no stevedore in position at the time of the incident, WorkSafe said. The injured worker had his left leg amputated by the MAFI and suffered other severe injuries. Colleagues used a forklift to lift the MAFI off him but he died at the scene.

“Toll had a system in place to manage the serious risks associated with loading and unloading its ships but some of its procedures were inadequate and the most critical part of all – having a second pair of eyes on the deck – was not enforced,” WorkSafe’s Executive Director of Health and Safety, Marnie Williams, said. 

“Toll knew the risks its employees faced working in and around MAFIs but failed to manage them appropriately.”It was a catastrophic failure that led to a worker dying in the most horrible of circumstances, and traumatising all the people who tried so hard to save him. The court’s decision reflects this, and is a stark reminder to all employers that the safety of their employees must be paramount at all times.”

The AUD 1 million fine handed out to Toll is the largest ever handed down by a court in Victoria for a single offence under occupational health and safety laws.

Share this article

Follow World Maritime News

In Depth>

Events>

<< Mar 2017 >>
MTWTFSS
27 28 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2

Breakbulk Europe 2017

For more than a decade, Breakbulk Europe has served as the networking hub for industry professionals who do business in Europe — or would like to! Exhibitors and sponsors include cargo owners, ocean carriers, freight forwarders, ports/terminals, heavy haulers, equipment companies and more that are involved in this specialized industry.

In addition to exceptional networking opportunities, Breakbulk Europe provides a dynamic conference, along with a range of educational and training workshops — intensive all-day classes held the day before the exhibition opens as well as many on-the-floor sessions.

  • Over 7,600 participants attended Breakbulk Europe 2016
  • Meet with over 400 exhibitors and sponsors
  • Hear from industry experts, including leading shippers, during the conference sessions
  • Learn new skills in the educational workshops held before the exhibition and on-the-floor micro-seminars and exhibitor-led sessions during the event

More info

read more >

Ferries Asia Summit

Propelling Regional Waterway Connectivity & Fleet-wide Operational Excellence

Ferry travel is in the limelight. The potential for driving tourism growth is immense – and for archipelago nations battling with urban congestion, ferry services pose a clean, efficient alternative in everyday public transport. But high-profile ferry accidents have brought ever greater attention to safety regulations for Asia’s maritime travel industry.

Amid these circumstances, how can vessel operators cope with ever-tightening safety requirements, while making the right decisions at the right time to capture rising demand? What are the smartest ways to improve service reliability and fleet quality, that maximize operating and capital spend? What are the industry’s best-practices for sustainable growth, and how can they be achieved?

Play your part! Join us at the Ferries Asia Summit 2017 to push forward the regional debate on making Asia’s ferry industry more progressive, safe, and commercially sustainable. Bringing together fast-ferry, RO-RO and ROPAX vessel owners along with international and domestic maritime regulators, classification agencies, shipbuilders and naval architects, this event connects the entire value chain for a meaningful holistic debate on ferry operations excellence in Asia.

WHAT’S ON THE AGENDA THIS YEAR?

Comprehensive debates on addressing the complexity of ferry safety in Asia: Is vessel age truly the greatest concern? How significant are other factors, and how can they be addressed?

Pathways to change through greater public-private collaboration

Contrasting viewpoints on the most effective ways to enhance operational stability & passenger management

Cost-efficient O&M strategies to extend vessel life & tips for stakeholder management to avoid purchasing mistakes

Integrating ferry business with tourism opportunities through strategic partnerships

Exciting formats including speed networking, panel discussions & a high-intensity fast-pitch ‘Shark Tank’!

For more information, click here to download the brochure.
If you would like to attend the event, register here before 3rd February to save USD 400.
Alternatively, email us at enquiry@iqpc.com.sg 
for any enquiries regarding the event.

More info

read more >

INMEX Vietnam 2017

The event is an exceptional meeting point for the global maritime community in Vietnam, a region where the industry remains buoyant and strong…

read more >

Singapore Maritime Week 2017

Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) is the leading maritime event in Singapore. Driven by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), SMW…

read more >