Sunday, May 26, 2024

Palmerston Council charged over near-drowning

One of the Northern Territory’s largest councils has been charged after a council worker nearly drowned when an amphibious weed harvester capsized on a lake. 

The City of Palmerston — east of Darwin — has been charged by NT WorkSafe with nine counts of breaching the Northern Territory’s workplace health and safety laws and regulations in relation to the February 2020 incident, including four counts of failing to comply with its duty of care.  

NT WorkSafe said two workers were removing weeds from a lake in the suburb of Durack when one became trapped beneath the harvester. The worker managed to escape from the capsized craft but was injured. 

“NT WorkSafe will allege that the City of Palmerston failed to follow all the manufacturer’s safety recommendations, which were provided during the purchase of the craft,” NT WorkSafe said. 

“One of the recommendations not followed, was when the City of Palmerston modified the craft by installing a crocodile cage, without first consulting with the manufacturer on how this modification would affect the craft’s stability and safety during operation.” 

If found guilty, Palmerston City could face a fine of up to $7 million. 

The case will be heard before Darwin Local Court on August 29. 

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