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Toowoomba Christian College has been fined $200,000 over the workplace death of groundsman James Norton, who fell from a scissor lift in January 2022, following a guilty plea for breaching workplace health and safety regulations.
Details of the Incident
James Norton, 67, was working alone on a scissor lift to repair an indoor sports centre when the lift hit a wall and tipped over. Norton was found unconscious with a head injury and later succumbed to a traumatic brain injury in palliative care in March 2022.
An inspection of the scissor lift revealed multiple safety issues, including a disabled speed-limiting device and a malfunctioning joystick controller. The college’s failure to implement safety checks on the lift was highlighted during the court proceedings.
Court’s Decision and Impact on Victims
The Toowoomba Magistrates Court fined Toowoomba Christian College $200,000 for not taking adequate steps to minimize safety risks. While the school had made efforts to train Norton in using the lift and took significant steps to improve safety post-incident, the court emphasized the catastrophic outcome of the safety lapses.