Written by Peter CarterDecember 23, 2012
WorkCover’s appeal against the July 2012 District Court $225,000 damages award to trucker Heinz Schmidt, ended in dismissal on Tuesday in a 3-0 decision.
The appeal judges upheld the lower court ruling that Schmidt’s employer should have provided a safe system of work, implemented a risk assessment, devised and documented a method to safely exit the prime mover, Neil Armstrong style; trained employees in the method; and monitored their compliance.
However, in a minor victory for WorkCover, the appeal court did overturn the lower court finding that the employer had been negligent by failing to provide a safe truck step system.
The employer had no obligation “to assess the slippage capabilities of the step system of a [Volvo]prime mover “purchased specifically for its recognised safety features”.