Kalidonis NT Pty Ltd


Fatal injury from machinery operation

Legal Status

Not guilty plea to charges of failing health and safety duties

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Darwin-based construction company Kalidonis NT has entered a not guilty plea to charges related to the death of Paul Leach, a construction worker, during a machinery operation in Maningrida. The incident, which occurred in March 2020, involved a failed excavator towing operation that resulted in fatal injuries to Mr. Leach.

Incident Overview

On March 20, 2020, Paul Leach was fatally injured when a chain used to tow a bogged excavator snapped and recoiled, striking him in the head. This accident occurred in a remote work site approximately 500 kilometers east of Darwin.

Legal Proceedings

Kalidonis NT Pty Ltd faces two charges of failing to comply with health and safety duties under NT WorkSafe regulations. Initially charged with industrial manslaughter, these charges were later downgraded and the manslaughter charge was withdrawn. The case, currently unfolding in Darwin Local Court, has highlighted previous unauthorized use of machinery by Mr. Leach and his son, raising issues about workplace safety and compliance.

Court Testimonies and Defense

Testimonies in court revealed that Mr. Leach had previously engaged in similar unauthorized activities. Kalidonis NT’s defense argues that despite being given explicit instructions against such actions, Mr. Leach’s defiance led to the tragic incident. The company had previously taken corrective actions, including the dismissal and subsequent rehiring of Mr. Leach, indicating awareness and intermittent enforcement of safety protocols.

Prosecution’s Argument

Representatives for NT WorkSafe contend that Kalidonis NT failed to ensure the safety of its employees, criticizing the company’s oversight and emergency response strategies. They argue that the company bears ultimate responsibility for the actions of its workers, especially in ensuring adherence to safety practices.

Future Court Dates

The hearing is set to resume on August 23, where further evidence and testimonies are expected to clarify the sequence of events leading to Mr. Leach’s death and determine the accountability of Kalidonis NT in maintaining safety standards.

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