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Charges laid over Work for the Dole showgrounds death

Josh Park-Fing.
Josh Park-Fing.

THE Queensland Office of Industrial Relations on Wednesday laid four charges over the death of a teenager on the Work for the Dole program at the Toowoomba Showgrounds in 2016.

An Office of Industrial Relations spokesman said the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland, NEATO Employment Services Pty Ltd and Work for the Dole project coordinator, Adrian Strachan, have been charged for alleged breaches of the Work Health Safety Act 2011 after the death of Joshua William Park-Fing at the Toowoomba Showgrounds on April 19, 2016.

Mr Park-Fing was 18 years old when he fell from a flatbed tractor trailer, struck his head and died.

The teenager was a participant in the Commonwealth Government's Work for the Dole program, and through NEATO Employment Services Pty Ltd was placed with the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland.

The Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland faces two charges of not ensuring the health and safety of workers influenced or directed by it.

The OIR spokesman said it was alleged RASQ failed to implement adequate systems to prevent workers riding on the trailer, including ensuring workers were adequately supervised.

The digital and print deal.
The digital and print deal.

Further, the second charge alleges RASQ could have better maintained the tractor in accordance with its duty to provide plant without risks to health and safety. It faces a maximum fine of $1.5m for each charge.

NEATO Employment Services is charged for an alleged failure to comply with its primary duty of care to ensure the safety of the Work for the Dole participants while they are at work in the host employer's business or undertaking.

It is alleged NEATO did not provide adequate supervision when Work for the Dole supervisors were absent from their respective workplaces.

It faces a maximum fine of $500,000.

Work for the Dole project co-ordinator, Adrian Strachan, has been charged over failing to comply with his duty as a worker.

Mr Strachan was tasked with overseeing Work for the Dole supervisors, the placement of Work for the Dole workers and work at host employers.

It is alleged he did not follow NEATO's policies or take reasonable steps to ensure they were followed by workers.

If found guilty, he faces a maximum fine of $50,000.

The matters will be mentioned in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court on December 22. 

Topics:  death editors picks oir toowoom toowoomba business toowoomba list toowoomba showgrounds work for the dole workplace health and safety


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