Charges laid over fall from height at remote cattle station

NT WorkSafe

NT WorkSafe has charged Queensland based company Hewitt Cattle Australia Pty Ltd with one breach of section 32 of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 (the Act) for failing their primary duty of care, and one breach of section 38 of the Act for failing to notify NT WorkSafe of a notifiable incident.

NT WorkSafe has also charged Ryan Watts, a Queensland builder with one breach of section 155(2) of the Act for failing to produce documents and information requested by NT WorkSafe as part of an investigation.

The charges related to a serious incident at Ambalindum Station on 8 February 2018 in which Mr Watts and a worker he subcontracted fell from a height as they were being lifted in a man cage by a telehandler.

NT WorkSafe will allege that Hewitt Cattle Australia Pty Ltd who owns Ambalindum Station and the telehandler used during the incident failed to:

  • provide and maintain a work environment without risks to health and safety as per section 19(3)(a);
  • provide and maintain safe plant and structures as per section 19(3)(b);
  • provide safe systems of work per section 19(3)(c);
  • ensure the safe use, handling and storage of plant per section 19(3)(d);
  • provide information, training, instruction or supervision necessary to protect all persons from risk to their health and safety arising from work being carried out as part of the business or undertaking as per section 19(3)(f); and
  • notify NT WorkSafe of a notifiable incident as per section 38.

NT WorkSafe also alleges Mr Watts without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with a written notice to produce requested documents and information in writing.

If found guilty Hewitt Cattle Australia Pty Ltd will face a maximum combined penalty of $1,550,000 for both charges.

Mr Watts faces a maximum penalty of $10,000 if found guilty.

The matter is listed for mention in the Alice Springs Local Court on 19 March 2020.

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