Snapped rope costs zipline company $50k
AN AWARD-winning Queensland zipline adventure company has been slapped with a hefty fine after a woman broke her pelvis when the braking rope snapped and she smashed into a tree at high speed.
Tailored Adventures Pty Ltd, which ran the Treetop Challenge in Tamborine Mountain, was yesterday fined $50,000 District Court judge Craig Chowdhury, a $10,000 increase on the fine imposed earlier by Beaudesert Magistrates Court.
Mariah Louise Spencer fractured her pelvis in several places, requiring screws to be surgically inserted, after she hit a tree when the rope snapped at Thunderbird Park on July 24, 2016, the court heard.
She was travelling so fast when the reduction line snapped that when she hit the tree, her body rebounded about 5m.
She was the sixth person to take the ride that day.
Judge Chowdhury said in his decision that the $50,000 penalty he imposed better reflected the need for general deterrence.
The zipline was the first of its kind in southeast Queensland and was recognised as the best in adventure tourism through the Queensland Tourism Awards in 2017, the court was told.
Tailored Adventures failed to install an abrasion-resistant jacket on the zipline to avoid possible degradation of the line due to friction.
The jacket was required by the manufacturer's specification manual, so the braking rope did not comply, the court heard.
After Ms Spencer was hurt the owners pulled down the zipline and rebuilt it with a
slower "ride profile" at a cost of $200,000.
On February 19 Tailored Adventures pleaded guilty in the Beaudesert Magistrates Court to a single charge of failing to comply with the Work Health and Safety Act.