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Gate repair business admits health and safety breach after truckie’s death

baker

Gate Automation Systems Pty Ltd has entered a guilty plea in the County Court of Victoria to a charge of failing to ensure that its employees and others were not exposed to risk under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Much-loved truckie Stuart Baker, 59, of Membrey’s Transport and Crane Hire was killed while attempting to manually close an automatic gate that was being repaired by the Scoresby company at the Membrey’s Dandenong South depot on April 23, 2022.

According to court documents, there had been ongoing issues with the double front automated gate system at Membrey’s and Gas Automation Systems had been engaged to do the repairs.

A service technician had left the 12m wide sliding gate in an unsafe condition by removing the motor without addressing the risk of it falling off the rails and crushing a person, reports the Herald Sun.

Court documents showed that before the technician left, he advised Membrey’s general manager to lock the gate closed and to put a chain around the posts and bars on the gate so that it could not move past the support posts and fall.

When Baker was manually closing the gate, it fell from the support posts and crushed him, resulting in serious injuries that led to his death.

Baker had worked at Membrey’s for more than 30 years and was a widely-respected driver and foreman.

“We have lost a true legend, mate and one of my best employees,” boss Craig Membrey said at the time.

Scores of tributes were posted on social media and dozens of truckies paid their respects to Baker by taking part in a special memorial convoy.

Gate Automation Systems will be sentenced at a later date.

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