$852,754 enforceable undertaking for fatal truck incident

building product company recently entered into an enforceable undertaking with a total expenditure of $852,754 over an incident in which a forklift fatally injured a worker.

On 1 February 2021, a truck driver contracted by John Cook & Sons was in the process of securing a load of timber onto their truck when an unattended forklift struck them. The worker sustained fatal injuries.

As part of the undertaking, the company agreed to the following conditions:

  • Engage litum technology and systems to trial a real time location system to prevent the collision of pedestrians and plant, namely forklifts.
  • Partner with CodeSafe Solutions to develop a mobile application that provides instruction, information and training to workers at JCS and templates that can be adopted and used by other businesses in the industry.
  • Share the successes of ‘Smartsheet’ as a means of managing and centralising safety documentation and data.
  • Undertake targeted roadshows to communicate the above strategies as well as the impact the incident has had on the business and individuals in the business, to try and thwart the misconception that a fatal workplace incident “won’t happen to me”.
  • Advertise in an industry publication the importance for businesses to prioritise the separation of pedestrians and plant.
  • Undertake an audit of the WHS management system to ensure it complies with the principles of AS/NZS ISO 45001.