Facility

LH Holding Management Pty Ltd, a stonemasonry business in Melbourne's north.

Incident Type

Fatal workplace accident involving a forklift.

Date of Incident

October 21, 2021.

Penalty Imposed

$1.3 million fine to the company, $120,000 compensation, and community work for Laith Hanna.

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Introduction

A Victorian court has imposed a $1.3 million fine on LH Holding Management Pty Ltd, owned by Laith Hanna, for the workplace death of Michael Tsahrelias in 2021, marking a significant application of the state’s workplace manslaughter laws.

Details of the Incident

In a tragic accident at a Melbourne stonemasonry business, subcontractor Michael Tsahrelias, 25, was killed when a load he was steadying from a forklift tipped over and crushed him. The incident, which occurred on October 21, 2021, was captured on security footage, highlighting the fatal consequences of the unsafe operation.

Operational Context

Laith Hanna’s decision to reverse a forklift down a slope with a heavy load was identified as a breach of work health and safety laws, leading to charges under Victoria’s workplace manslaughter legislation. Hanna and his company were accused of failing to maintain safe operating procedures, resulting in Tsahrelias’s death.

Court’s Decision and Impact on Victims

Besides the company’s $1.3 million fine, Hanna was ordered to pay $120,000 in compensation to the Tsahrelias family and complete two years of unpaid community work. The court recognized Hanna’s cooperation, early guilty plea, and expressions of remorse in determining the sentence.

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