WHS Manager Manger Prosecuted Over Incomplete Assessment

An organisation’s WHS risk manager breached safety laws by failing – over a period of more than three years – to finalise a risk assessment for an infectious disease, a prosecutor has revealed.

Queensland Museum employee Maria Thornton was recently sentenced in the Brisbane Magistrates Court, after pleading guilty to breaching sections 28(b) and 32 of the Queensland Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Thornton was accused of contravening her duty as a worker to take reasonable care that her acts or omissions did not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons.

She faced a maximum fine of $150,000, but was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond with a $1,500 recognisance, plus $1,100 in costs. No conviction was recorded.

After the WHS worker was sentenced, a spokesperson for the State Office of the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor told OHS Alert the worker’s breach involved her failure “to finalise a risk assessment regarding the risk of zoonotic diseases in taxidermy work when it was incumbent upon her to do so”.