Car dealer fined $30,000 after detailer injured


An Osborne Park vehicle dealership has been fined after a car detailer was hurt when he was struck by a car driven by an apprentice without a driving licence.

Paceway Mitsubishi was fined $30,000 in the Perth Magistrates Court today for failing to provide a working environment in which its employees were not exposed to hazards, and by that failure causing serious harm to an employee.

Car detailer Anton Graeme Cruikshank was employed by Paceway as a car detailer at the dealership in Scarborough Beach Road.

On 20 September 2007 Mr Cruikshank was in the process of cleaning the boot area of a Mitsubishi 380 in the wash bay area at the dealership when he was struck by a Mitsubishi Pajero which pushed him into the rear of the Mitsubishi 380 and crushed him between the two vehicles.

Mr Cruikshank received multiple fractures to his pelvis and lower legs.

The Mitsubishi Pajero was being driven by a 17-year-old first year apprentice mechanic employed by Paceway. The apprentice did not hold a driving licence at the time.

Magistrate Tavener was told that Paceway had a practice of allowing apprentices who only held their learner’s permit to drive vehicles by themselves and unsupervised around the workplace, including the main driveway and areas accessed by pedestrians and other cars.

WorkSafe argued that the apprentice had not been provided with adequate assessment by Paceway on the safe operation and movement of vehicles at the workplace and around the wash bay area where the incident took place.

Paceway had been aware of prior incidents where the apprentice had been involved in two separate car accidents at the workplace. No action had been taken by the employer to assess, instruct or supervise him while he continued to drive in the workplace.

"It is clear that Paceway Mitsubishi did not take seriously their obligation to provide a safe working environment," Ms Lyhne said.

"As a result, the car detailer has received multiple injuries."

"This is even more serious given that the apprentice had a history of involvement in accidents at the site, yet the company had made no attempt to intervene.

"All employers need to be aware of the need for adequate supervision and training."

Blancoa Pty Ltd, trading as Paceway Mitsubishi, pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay costs of $1750.70.

From Department of Commerce, WA.

Author: Department of Commerce, WA

Tags: User:Teacher;User:Student;Retail;Other hazards;Causes of OHS incidents;News items