Catering business fined over forklift accident

A South Australian catering business has been fined $73,000 over a forklift accident that seriously injured an employee.

According to the court report, Andrew Toepfer was injured in 2009 when a powered reach truck he was driving down a ramp at the Bidvest Australia Cater Plus operation at Regency Park toppled over when it struck a loose steel grate over a drain.

The man was trapped under the overhead framework of the fallen truck and suffered serious leg injuries. The accident left him confined to a wheelchair.

The SA Industrial Court concluded that the loose grate was a foreseeable hazard to reach truck operators working in the company’s Regency Park premises.

According to report by ABC news online, the court heard that Toepfer was the company's first aid officer and had coordinated his own rescue by instructing staff on how to free him.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching workplace safety laws and the court heard it had supported Toepfer through his rehabilitation and showed genuine contrition.

Industrial Magistrate Stephen Lieschke said the offence was very serious and imposed the fine of $73,000.

Image: Bidvest's Regency Park premises

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