Ardent Leisure, Dreamworld’s parent company have been fined $3.6 million after the deaths of four people on the Thunder River Rapids Ride in 2016. The company was found guilty of three breaches of workplace health and safety laws with a maximum penalty of $4.5 million.
The Southport Magistrates Court handed down the decision after hearing from emotional statements from family members who witnessed the deaths. Ardent Leisure accepted full responsibility for the deaths and was charged with three counts of failure to comply with Health and Safety Duty, Category 2 under the Queensland Health and Safety Act.
A coronial inquest conducted into the four deaths found that a number of safety and maintenance systems at the park had failed. The Work Health and Safety prosecutor Aaron Guilfoyle said,
“The failures of the defendant were not momentary. The failures did not occur solely on the day of the incident, they were failures well before then, which led ultimately to what transpired. This is a rare case in which a penalty close to the available maximum is appropriate.”
Ardent Leisure expressed its sympathy to the families and those impacted by the tragedy. Since the fatal accident Ardent Leisure has been working with industry experts to bring Dreamworld’s safety and systems up to standard. This includes engineering reviews, situational emergency training, training for staff and developing new safety regulations for theme parks with the Queensland Government.
The fine imposed is the largest workplace fine in Queensland history for a workplace tragedy. Additionally Ardent has paid compensation to most families, first responders and others impacted by the tragedy.
This is a tragic example of the consequences of poorly managed health and safety. Contact ProcessWorx to learn about our Safety Packages for small businesses and farms on (08) 9316 9896 or firstname.lastname@example.org