The Department of Defence has been charged for allegedly failing in its duties to provide safe systems of work over an incident which occurred at the Townsville RAAF base on August 16, 2017.
The Department of Defence has been charged for allegedly failing in its duties to provide safe systems of work over an incident which occurred at the Townsville RAAF base on August 16, 2017.

Defence Department charged over worker’s lost leg

CHARGES have been laid against the Department of Defence after a worker suffered critical injuries during a maintenance operation.

Prosecutors have filed federal worker health and safety charges against the department.

The charges follow an investigation by Comcare into an incident at the Royal Australian Air Force base in Townsville in 2017.

RAAF personnel were tasked with removing the nylon belt from an aircraft arrestor unit designed to stop planes during emergencies.

The work was being carried out on August 16, 2017 using a tow motor to remove the belt from a three-tonne arrestor unit on a flatback truck.

The unit fell from the truck and landed on a RAAF crew member's legs, severing one and causing severe injuries to the other.

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions files three charges against the Department of Defence. The charges are all under Category 2 offences under the federal Work Health and

Safety Act 2011 and carry a maximum penalty of $1.5 million.

It will be alleged the department failed in its duties under the WHS Act to provide safe systems of work, including failing to carry out adequate risk assessments and to secure the arrestor unit.

The matter is listed for mention in Townsville Magistrates Court on September 9.



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