Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of John Robert BORRADAILE

Inquest into the Death of John Robert BORRADAILE

Delivered on :30 April 2018

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner Vicker

Recommendations :Yes

WorkSafe publish appropriate guidance materials on its website such as those exhibited at exhibit 1, tab 16A and B.

16A New South Wales WorkCover handling Glass safely.

16B New South Wales SafeWork NSW October 2016 guide for unpacking shipping containers.

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : At the time of his death the deceased was at his workplace, Penguin International in Osborne Park, where he was assisting in the unloading of a sea container packed with crates of glass sheeting of different sizes. During the process of manoeuvring a tall crate out of the front of the sea container with a forklift and strap, the crate destablished and toppled to the side.

The deceased had been positioned towards the front of, and alongside, the crate when he was struck by the falling crate. The deceased was knocked to the floor of the container where it trapped him.  A forklift was used to lift the crate from the deceased and he was taken by ambulance to Royal Perth Hospital but did not survive.  He was 26 years of age.

The focus of the inquest was on the circumstances of the death of the deceased with respect to an enquiry as to whether there needed to be more formal procedures and protocols around the safe handling of heavy glass sheeting. The company did not have a written procedure reminding employees of company policy to avoid falling crates and allow them to fall.

The deceased had not been employed by the company at the time of a previous incident which had occurred and so was not as aware of the reality of the danger of a falling crate as those who had been present. Unfortunately, he unconsciously placed himself in a vulnerable position while attempting to assist with unpacking the sea container.  Others around him were all concentrating on their specific tasks and missed the opportunity to remind him to place himself out of the fall zone.

The Court was advised the company believed there are a number of other companies undertaking similar work in Western Australia to the one which the company was undertaking at the time of the deceased’s death. WorkSafe believes there is enough information on the internet, although not through the WA WorkSafe site, which provides sufficient guidance for those wishing to undertake the unloading of sea containers in a safe manner.

The Deputy State Coroner considered it was desirable for guidelines, which are produced in other states, to be utilised as part of WorkSafe WA’s website to assist employers in looking for suitable reference material. In this context the Deputy State Coroner made her recommendation.

The Deputy State Coroner found the deceased died on 4 February 2013 at Royal Perth Hospital as a result of a Neck Injury and death occurred by way of accident.

Catch Words : Codes of Practice and Guidelines : WorkSafe : Sea Containers containing crates of glass : Accident.

Last updated: 30-Apr-2019

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