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Trailer manufacturer fined $25k for near-miss

An incident where a falling trailer narrowly missed three workers has resulted in a heavy-duty trailer manufacturer being convicted by Worksafe Victoria and ordered to pay over $30,000.

Worksafe Victoria says MaxiTRANS Australia Pty Ltd was sentenced in the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on January 18 after pleading guilty to a charge under the Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to maintain systems of work that are, as far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risk to health.

The company was fined $25,000 and ordered to pay costs of $5742.

The court heard that on June 20, 2018, three workers were using two cranes to lift a partially constructed trailer. Workers usually did this by attaching chains to lifting lugs, which were fixed to the trailer using a magnetic drill.

But on this day, the magnetic drills were being repaired. The court heard that workers instead looped a chain and hook around rails at the front and rear of the trailer, before lifting.

As a worker was placing a support stand beneath the raised trailer it fell – hitting the stand, rolling to the right and narrowly missing all three workers.

“This was a significant failure, which could easily have been catastrophic for the three workers involved,” said WorkSafe executive director of health and safety Narelle Beer.

“The risks associated with working with cranes are well-known and there is no excuse for failing to ensure that safe systems are in place to protect workers.”

MaxiTRANS Australia has been approached for comment.

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