Labour hire company fined after worker's death

A labour hire company has been fined $50,000 following the death of a worker at a Benalla timber mill in 2018.


Recruitment Select Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Wangaratta Magistrates' Court on Monday to a single charge of failing to provide and maintain a safe system of work.

It was also ordered to pay costs of $10,438.

The court heard the worker, who was employed by Recruitment Select, had commenced work at the timber mill in February 2018.

But the company was unaware that the worker was later moved into a new role in a different section of the factory.

In May 2018, the worker was removing rejected timber from a moulding machine when he was dragged into the unguarded shaft of a conveyor belt and pinned against a metal upright.

He suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said the company should have done more to assess the risks at the workplace.

"Labour hire agencies not only need to establish if a workplace is safe in the first place, they must continue monitoring their employee and consult with them on health and safety matters relevant to their job," Ms Nielsen said.

"This includes making sure the host does not give their employees new or different tasks, especially tasks unrelated to their experience and qualifications."

D&R Henderson Pty Ltd, the operator of the timber mill, is also facing charges over the incident.