Charges laid over Tottenham chemical fire

WorkSafe has charged a Harkness man with endangering people at a workplace following a 2018 chemical fire at Tottenham.
News article published

Wednesday 19 Aug 2020

Industries and topics
  • Waste and recycling
  • Dangerous goods

Graham Leslie White, 59, has been charged on summons under sections 32 and 26 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act for recklessly engaging in conduct that placed or may have placed people in danger of serious injury and for failing to ensure that the Tottenham site, and the means of entering and leaving it, were safe and without risks to health.

They are among 26 new charges White is facing under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and sections 31 and 31C of the Dangerous Goods Act.

The charges under the Dangerous Goods Act relate to four warehouses at which it is alleged that dangerous goods were stored – the Tottenham warehouse and three sites in Campbellfield.

WorkSafe alleges that White failed at each site to take all reasonable precautions to prevent any fire or explosion involving dangerous goods in his ownership, control or possession.

WorkSafe further alleges at each site White failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent leakage of dangerous goods and failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent damage to property or danger to the public incurred by an accident involving dangerous goods.

White also faces three aggravated charges with WorkSafe further alleging that White knew, or ought to have known, that each of his failings would likely endanger the safety or health of another person, property or the environment.

The matters are listed for a filing hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 14 September.