Waste company fined more than $500,000 after employee’s death from reversing dumper

The case was brought before the NSW District Court for sentencing on Thursday.

Judge David Russell imposed significant fines on both the company and CEO Emmanuel Roussakis, who was also the site manager on the day of the incident.

Aussie Skips was fined $525,000, while Roussakis was fined $60,000. Both fines came at a reduced rate due to early IOUs.

The judge ruled that the risk to workers was “clear and foreseeable”.

“The pickers had to work in an area where up to 150 heavy vehicles per day entered the site, dumped waste and left the site,” he said in his sentencing.

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“In addition, heavy machinery, including the front loader involved in the incident, was in continuous operation in the yard where the pickers were working on foot. The chance that the risk occurred was high.”

The judge said there was “no explanation” as to why precautions had not been taken to prevent collisions between workers and heavy machinery and that a “general rule” in the workplace to watch out for machines was inadequate.

“It was never enough to say to the workers, ‘Take care of yourself,'” the judge said.

“Camera footage shows that Mr. Singarajah saw the front loader drive towards him and tried to get out of the way. There was only six seconds between the loader starting to back up and running over the victim.”

In a separate incident, another company, Mondiale VGL, was also fined in court on Thursday after the death of an employee.

Ian Marlow, a 42-year-old truck driver, was crushed by a reversing reach stacker weighing more than 70 tonnes in 2018 at the shipping facility in eastern Sydney.

The same judge fined the company $375,000.

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