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Court Summary - at a glance
- Ensured that an effective fatigue management system was implemented, including identifying specific factors that result in fatigue of workers.
- Identified, assessed and monitored specific fatigue-related hazards, taking into account the risk that driving creates.
- Ensured that guidelines for maximum work hours and minimum duration of breaks were developed and implemented.
- Ensured that the effectiveness of these controls was monitored, including monitoring actual hours worked and having a system in place for reporting concerns with fatigue.
- Ensured that workers took regular breaks from work.
- Ensured there was a system of controls in place to recognise and address fatigue in periods of higher than normal workload.
- Ensured that workers were trained in understanding and managing fatigue.
- Ensured that all workers operating Micheal Vining Contracting Limited’s vehicles/ machinery wore their seatbelts.
On 30 October 2016 at about 7:30am, the victim and two other workers, met at the defendant’s yard in Huntly. They travelled to another location, arriving at about 8:30am. They commenced work, and had a break from 4pm until 5:15pm. They then proceeded to travel to a third location, starting work at 6:30pm. At 9:30pm, they took a ten minute break. At 12:30am the last load was completed and the men left for the defendant’s yard, they arrived there at 1am.
The victim was scheduled to work the next day and was required to collect a rake implement that was stored at location not far from his home. It was agreed the victim would take the tractor home.
Between 1:30 and 2.00am, the victim left for home in the tractor and set off on the approximately 30 km drive home along the public roads. At 2:45am a loud bang was heard from the road. Neighbours found the tractor horizontally across the middle of the road. The victim had been ejected from the driver’s seat of the tractor.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services.