Bus operator faces multiple charges over 2017 death

NT WorkSafe

NT WorkSafe has charged theNorthern Territorys largest bus operator Buslink NT Pty Ltd, after one of itsbus drivers was pinned and killed in a bus rollaway incident.

On 26 October 2017, the 59-year-oldBuslink NT employee was driving a chartered bus taking cruise ship passengers ona day trip. During the scheduled lunch break at the Humpty Doo Hotel, thedriver returned to the bus to collect personal items. As she was returning tothe hotel, the driver noticed the bus rolling forward and ran back to open thebus door to engage the interlocking braking system. During her attempt to reachthe door switch, the driver fell forward into the path of the moving bus.

The NT WorkSafe investigationfound Buslink NT had failed to implement adequate control measures to managethe issue of bus rollaway, despite numerous safety reports in the Australianbus industry addressing the issue. This failure not only contributed to thedeath of their worker, but also had the potential of placing the health andsafety of their passengers and nearby pedestrians at risk.

NT WorkSafe will allege that withthe death of their worker, Buslink NT failed in their health and safety dutyunder section 19(1)(a) of the Work Healthand Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 (the Act) and committedthree offences by:

  • failingto provide and maintain a work environment without risks to health and safety,a breach of section 19(3)(a) of the Act;
  • failingto provide and maintain safe plant, a breach of section 19(3)(b); and
  • failingto provide and maintain a safe system of work, a breach of section 19(3)(c).

NT WorkSafe will also allegeBuslink NT failed their health and safety duty under section 19(2) by puttingat risk the health and safety of passengers and pedestrians, and committedthree additional offences by:

  • failingto provide and maintain a work environment without risks to health and safety,a breach of section 19(3)(a);
  • failingto provide and maintain safe plant, a breach of section 19(3)(b); and
  • failingto provide and maintain a safe system of work, a breach of section 19(3)(c).

All six offences have been chargedunder section 32 of the Act for failing to comply with a health and safetyduty.

Each charge carries a maximumpenalty of $1,500,000.

The matter is listed for mentionin the Darwin Local Court on Tuesday 19 November 2019.

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