The TWU WA branch has welcomed the serious action taken by WorkSafe over the horrific injuries suffered by a union member struck by a forklift at a Perth Airport Toll yard.
The worker obtained permanent injuries to his foot and leg from the incident.
The union immediately investigated using a Right of Entry permit and involved WorkSafe over concerns the movement and speed of vehicles were not being properly managed at the site.
Three years on, WorkSafe’s investigation has resulted in the matter going to court with a maximum possible penalty of $2 million.
The TWU has spent decades campaigning for economic supply chain pressures to be addressed in transport so that workplaces – whether a yard or the road – are made safer.
TWU WA Branch Secretary Tim Dawson welcomed the seriousness with which WorkSafe has taken the incident to ensure the safety of transport workers.
“This was a horrific incident for our member and his family. No worker should be faced with life-changing injuries from simply doing their job and doing it right. In a workplace, there should be no such thing as ‘the wrong place at the wrong time’ – safeguards must be in place to avoid accidents at all costs, particularly when vehicles are involved.
“Following this tragedy, the union involved WorkSafe to ensure the safety of transport workers at this site and at all transport yards across the state. We are reassured that the matter is being handled to the fullest possible extent to avoid any other family going through such a traumatic event.
“Transport is Australia’s deadliest industry. Cost-cutting pressures from wealthy clients at the top of the supply chain can lead to corners being cut in safety. In 2023, 235 people were killed in transport-related crashes, including 58 transport workers.
“Transport is at breaking point and must be made safer and fairer. Life-saving transport reform which has support right across the industry is before the Senate, we urge every Senator to pass this without hesitation,” Dawson said.