On 22 September 2014, a 20 year old contract musterer suffered fatal head injuries when he fell from the motorbike he was using to muster sheep 100 kms west of Tibooburra.
He was not wearing a helmet.
After a SafeWork NSW investigation, the defendant, KD & JT Westbrook Pty Ltd, was charged with a breach of section 32/19(1) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Claiming that the employer put the Contractor at risk of death or serious injury by not making him wear a helmet. They claimed it wasn’t reasonably practical as mustering is usually at 30-40kph, so the contractor must have been riding dangerously for his own enjoyment.
Judge Scotting stated that even if skylarking could be proven, it’s known that sometimes the work of chasing down dingoes was part of their work, and discarded the evidence that it was impractical to wear helmets while mustering, as they impaired a riders view, were heavy and could cause overheating during extreme temperatures.
O 19 February 2019, the defendant was convicted by the District Court, fined $180,000 and ordered to publish the orders under s236 of the Adverse Publicity Order.