KMQ Decision – Read Very Carefully

A recent decision by the Victorian Supreme Court refusing leave to appeal by a quarry (KMQ) against a conviction for a contractors death does not undermine the 2012 Baiada v The Queen High Court decision or extend liability for management of risks arising from a contractors work to Principal Contractors. It actually baffles my as to why the appeal was launched. KMQ managed the site, including the stockpile. There was no barrier in place at the top of the stockpile and a truck rolled over when it reversed. KMQ tried to argue that they did not have management or control of the operations (accessing the stockpile) which created the risk. To any punter it is clear safely accessing and exiting the stockpile was under KMQ’s control. Please note this case DOES NOT extend the duties owed to contractors in respect of their own work, for example if the brakes failed on the contractors truck and it went over that would be the responsibility of the contractor. The only part of the judgement I don’t like is reference to the 2011 Victorian Supreme Court finding that a “right” to control is sufficient evidence to establish control. This was overturned in 2012 by the High Court in Baiada Poultry v The Queen 2012 HCA 14.