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The following article is a general news item provided for the benefit of members. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the Safety Institute of Australia.
Date: 
Tuesday, 6 February, 2018 - 13:45
Category: 
Industry news
Location: 
National News
Northern Territory

NT WorkSafe has charged Darwin shipping company Conlon Murphy (trading as Barge Express) and one of its workers with breaching the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act after the death of a deckhand.

On 8 January 2017, Daniel Bradshaw, a fly in-fly-out worker on the vessel Sammy Express, was found floating face down in the water between the vessel and wharf at Hudson Creek.

Bradshaw had multiple fractures consistent with striking a solid object after falling from a height, and his toxicology report showed a very high level of blood alcohol content.

During its investigation, NT WorkSafe found no gangway was in place to allow safe access to the Sammy Express at the time of the incident.

The vessel was Bradshaw’s place of accommodation during his four week shift and to disembark, workers were required to jump across a gap onto a tyre tied to the wharf as a fender before climbing onto the wharf.

NT WorkSafe will allege that Barge Express did not to comply with their health and safety duty by:

  • Failing to ensuring safe access to the worksite (the Sammy Express) as outlined in their Shipboard Safety Management Manual;
  • Failing to ensure regular safety meetings were held for the crew of the Sammy Express, and
  • Failing to ensure its workers were not impaired by fatigue or alcohol as outlined in their fitness to work policy.

Barge Express faces one charge contrary to section 32 of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act, for failing to comply with health and safety duty.

Nicholas Mitchell, Master of the Sammy Express, also faces one charge contrary to section 32 of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act, for failing to comply with health and safety duty.

NT WorkSafe will allege that Mitchell, as Master of the Sammy Express, had the responsibility to rig a gangway to provide safe access to the vessel as outlined in the Shipboard Safety Management Manual.

If found guilty, Barge Express will face a maximum penalty of $1.5 million and Mitchell will face a maximum penalty of $150,000.

The matter is listed for mention in the Darwin Local Court on 27 February 2018.