Officials Cases – McDonald’s Fined $180,000 After Worker Left Paraplegic

A Ronald McDonald show stage, which fell on an employee rendering him paraplegic, has resulted in McDonald’s being fined $180,000 with $10,000 costs by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission sitting in court session.

McDonald’s Australia Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 15(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1983 at the company’s North Goulburn franchise restaurant on 23 May 1998.

The incident occurred when the stage was being lowered on a McDonald’s truck, which had been custom built to transport the Ronald McDonald show to the company’s restaurants around NSW.

The truck driver suffered serious spinal cord injury, spinal fractures and a dislocated shoulder when he unlocked a latch holding the stage vertical to the side of the truck. The stage fell, striking him on the head and neck .

As a result of his injuries the employee, who was aged 22 at the time of the incident, is confined to a wheelchair.

In handing down her penalty, JusticeTrish Kavanagh said McDonald’s had failed to provide a safe system of work or sufficient training, and the associated risk to the safety of its employees was significant.

WorkCover NSW General Manager Kate McKenzie commented: “This tragic case resulted from the employer’s failure to properly maintain the truck’s stage lowering mechanism and to properly train the truck driver in its use.”

Media contact: John Kirby, WorkCover NSW, (02) 9370 5257 or 0413 186 799

Workcover Authority (Insp Louise May) v McDonald”s Australia Ltd

This article is sourced from the WorkCover website at http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/

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