Transport company charged for truck safety breaches

A South Gippsland based transport company has been charged by WorkSafe for unsafe work practices that allegedly led to two serious truck crashes.

Peter Stoitse Transport Pty Ltd has been charged under section 32 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act with recklessly engaging in conduct that placed others in danger of serious injury.

WorkSafe alleges that the company directed or permitted workers to drive two milk tankers that were involved in separate crashes in February and July 2020, despite being aware the trucks were unsafe.

WorkSafe has also charged the company for breaching section 23 of the OHS Act by exposing people other than employees, namely road users, to health and safety risks when it failed to ensure unsafe milk tankers were not driven on public roads.

The company is facing a further three charges under section 21(2)(a) of the OHS Act for failing to provide or maintain safe plant; and failing to provide or maintain safe systems of work to ensure vehicles were free of mechanical defects and driver fatigue was managed.

Peter Stoitse Transport was collecting approximately 20 per cent of the milk from Victorian farmers, when it announced it would be quitting the milk business late last year.

It was collecting 1.2 billion litres of milk a year from over 500 Victorian farmers, before its last milk collections were made at the end of January.

The company was started by the late Peter Stoitse, an Australian Road Transport Hall of Fame inductee, and continues to be family owned and run.

The above matter is listed for a filing hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court tomorrow, February 16.

Peter Stoitse Transport was approached but did not wish to provide comment at this stage.

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