Possible police fine aimed at safety
The South Australian police force is facing charges over the “tragic” workplace death of a woman who was trapped in a freezer.
Police face a fine of up to $1.5 million for breaching health and safety laws over the death of cook and cleaner Debra Summers in 2016, who was employed at a police training centre.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said any fines would go directly toward improving SafeWork SA's investigative processes, rather than general revenue.
“Normally, any fine imposed under the act would come straight to treasury into consolidated accounts,” Mr Lucas said.
“However, in this case, it's my intention to instruct Treasury to set aside any penalty payable as a result of this case and ensure it is used wholly to improve SafeWork SA investigation processes.
“It's imperative that we have a highly functioning and productive independent regulator in SafeWork SA.”
The Planning, Transport and Infrastructure Department has also been charged with breaching health and safety regulations due to its responsibility for managing and maintaining the training facility.
SafeWork SA executive director Martyn Campbell said a string of failures had led to the death of Ms Summers.
“It is critical that workplace hazards are identified, recorded and dealt with to ensure the likelihood of injury is eliminated or controlled to an acceptable level,” he said.
“Even seemingly simple things like regular maintenance or a buddy system so people do not work alone can make all the difference at a workplace.”