Connor Milne with his partner Shannea Farrier and their baby daughter Summer-Lee.
Connor Milne with his partner Shannea Farrier and their baby daughter Summer-Lee.

Supervisor allegedly skipped key safety aspects

A QUARRY supervisor facing charges following a fatal crush incident near Clermont is accused of skipping key safety elements in the induction of a new worker three weeks before he was killed on the job.

Connor Milne died on November 15, 2018 at Fairfield Quarry at Wolfgang when he became entangled in the rotating tail drum of a conveyor belt and sustained critical injuries.

Legal action has been taken against Clermont Quarries Pty Ltd and three individuals over alleged serious breaches of the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act resulting in the 21 year old's death.

Court documents revealed Clermont Quarries Pty Ltd hired Mr Milne as a loader and excavator operator on October 24, when he underwent induction training that included two assessments of competence requiring him to demonstrate skills and proficiency on the equipment.

The paperwork alleges Vincent Matthew David John Fitzgerald, who was the supervisor in charge of Mr Milne's induction, failed to properly test and observe Mr Milne's knowledge of and ability on the relevant machinery before giving him the green light to work.

The 25 year old is accused of failing to conduct "any skills of proficiency testing by observing Mr Milne operating a loader or excavator in the manner required by the assessment form prior to marking Mr Milne as competent".

Connor Milne with his partner Shannea Farrier. Mr Milne died on November 15, 2018 at the quarry near Clermont where he worked. One company and three people have been charged over his death.
Connor Milne with his partner Shannea Farrier. Mr Milne died on November 15, 2018 at the quarry near Clermont where he worked. One company and three people have been charged over his death.

It is further alleged Mr Milne's written answers on the two assessments "were copied from the respective answer sheet for each assessment".

The court documents, filed in Mackay Magistrates Court, allege Mr Fitzgerald gave Mr Milne the answer sheets and as a result "did not conduct a genuine test of Mr Milne's knowledge or competence in the operation of loaders and excavators".

Mr Fitzgerald is charged with one count of failing to discharge a health and safety obligation.

"There was a risk of injury to Mr Milne or to other workers at the quarry through Mr Milne's operation of a loader or excavator in the absence of there having been a genuine test of his knowledge or competence in the operation of loaders and excavators," the court documents state.

"(Mr) Fitzgerald should have ensured that Mr Milne was competent in accordance with the requirements of each assessment, prior to signing the 'Confirmation of Training and Assessment' section of each assessment."

Mr Fitzgerald will next appear in Mackay Industrial Magistrates Court later this month.

Clermont Quarries is charged with two counts of failing to discharge a health and safety obligation over Mr Milne's death.

Darren Bruce Gregory, whose Linkedin page lists him as general manager and site senior executive at Clermont Quarries, is facing one count of failing to discharge a health and safety obligation.

Daniel John Mayes is facing two counts of the same charge.

Matters against Clermont Quarries, Mr Gregory and Mr Mayes have been listed for mention in Clermont Magistrates Court in May.


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