Taxi company charged after wheelchair passenger deaths

WorkSafe has charged an Echuca taxi company following two separate incidents where passengers died after their wheelchairs tipped backwards while travelling.


Echuca-Moama Taxi Group Pty Ltd faces four charges of under section 23(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, for failing to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that people other than employees were not exposed to health and safety risks.

On 6 February 2021 a 63-year-old woman died after her wheelchair tipped backwards while she was travelling in a taxi in Echuca.

On 28 June 2021 a 75-year-old man was travelling in a taxi in Echuca when his wheelchair tipped backwards. He was taken to hospital with a fractured sternum, where he died from complications on 5 July 2021.

It’s alleged that in both incidents the company failed to provide and maintain a safe system of work and failed to train taxi drivers in line with the manufacturer’s instructions for the wheelchair tie down system.

The matter is listed for a filing hearing at the Echuca Magistrates' Court on 28 February 2023.