Risk assessments important across all sectors including education

A Northern Territory education provider has been convicted and fined $50,000 after a student died during a school sports carnival in 2015. 

NT Christian Schools, who operate the Gawa Christian School located on Elcho Island, pleaded guilty in the Darwin Local Court on August 10, 2017 to one breach of Section 32 of theWork Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act for failing to comply with a health and safety duty. 

A 12-year old student Jethro Dhamarrandji-Baker died after being run over by a Toyota Landcruiser Troop Carrier during an event known as the Troopy Pull. 

NT WorkSafe executive director Stephen Gelding said the tragic loss of a young life could have been avoided if the risk assessment process had been carried out before the start of the carnival. 

“The Troopy Pull was the favourite event at the Gawa School Sports Carnival and involved teams taking turns pulling a troop carrier over a certain distance,” Gelding said. 

“When the event was introduced in 2012, a risk assessment was conducted and a number of safety measures were put in place to protect the participants.” 

“In 2015, the teacher who introduced the event no longer worked at the school and the carnival organisers did not conduct a risk assessment or review the safety measures in place before the event,” Gelding said. 

“Mentioning work health and safety usually brings up images of high-vis workwear and people working in mining, construction or manufacturing.” 

“I want to remind all businesses and workers that the work health and safety laws apply to all workplaces and conducting a risk assessment should form part of everyday work procedures.” 

NT Christian Schools was also required to pay a victim levy of $1,500.

Image supplied by Flickr cc: Badroe Zaman

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