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Court Summary - at a glance
Practicable steps found at trial:
- Probations Officers were sufficiently trained in health and safety relevant to community work placements, so as to adequately understand the principles of hazard management, including physical controls, PPE, training and competency requirements;
- Probations Officers carried out a sufficient risk and hazard assessment considering the type of work to be undertaken and suitability of both the Agency and the Offender;
- Probation Officers, when they had the opportunity to become aware that there may have been changes to the type of work that could materially affect the hazard and risk assessment undertaken, conducted a new risk and hazard assessment;
- An Agency's health and safety systems were assessed and recorded as part of reaching agreement with an Agency;
- The Agency Handbook set out all appropriate health and safety requirements and expectations;
- The Agency Handbook was provided to all Agency sponsors at the time of signing the Three Way Agreements;
- The Agency Handbook set out explicit instructions on what to do in special circumstances, including illness of the sponsor;
- The scope of work to be undertaken during community work placements expressly excluded hazardous work;
- Clear instructions were provided to Probation Officers outlining what to do if it was recognised that the scope of work had changed;
- A power tools policy for community agency placements was implemented, including what could be used, by whom and in what circumstances;
- The power tools policy was communicated to and understood by Probation Service employees;
- The power tools policy was communicated at the induction of offenders and during the monitoring of the Agency and Offenders;
- Clear instructions were provided to Probation Officers outlining what to do if it was recognised the power tools policy was not being adhered to;
- The Agency Handbook set out the power tools policy;
- Ensure that all community work agency sponsors know and understand what is required of them while supervising offenders;
- Ensure that each community work agency and the offender understand what is required of them in terms of health and safety obligations and the expectations of Probation in terms of supervision; and
- Ensure that the scope of work to be undertaken including any exclusion on hazardous work is communicated to both the community work agency and the offender prior to the commencement of the placement.
The victim, on his first day of community work, was fatally struck by a log while assisting another offender to cut the log into rounds with a chainsaw.