Mr Andrew Maunder  v Moolarben Coal Operations Pty Ltd, (U2014/6585) [2014] FWC 7971, SENIOR DEPUTY PRESIDENT DRAKE

 

Mr Maunder commenced work for Moolarben on or about 5 May 2010 as a mechanical technician. Moolarben terminated his employment with notice on 26 March 2014. At the date of termination of employment Mr Maunder was a leading hand. Moolarben’s reasons for the termination of Mr Maunder’s employment are set out in the letter of termination as follows:

 

“I refer to the Company’s investigation into allegations about your conduct on Saturday 22 March 2014 and to the meeting held today with Barry McKay, Maintenance Manager, Luke Bowden, Environment & Community Manager and yourself. Luke O’Connell was also in attendance as your support person.

 

The investigation is now complete. In reaching the following findings I have considered all relevant information, including information that has been collected throughout the investigation and your response provided in our meeting on 25 March 2014.

 

Findings

 

I have made the following findings in relation to each of the allegations:

 

  1. Failed to isolate and dissipate energies associated with the task…
  2. Failed to carry out an appropriate pre-task risk assessment that identified the respective hazards for the task and implement appropriate controls…

 

Based on the findings in the investigation I am satisfied that you have breached your responsibilities as employee of MCO. Specifically you breached the following:

 

  • The MCO Isolation Procedure;
  • MCO Risk Management Procedure;
  • MCO Safety Creed; and
  • Your duties under work health and safety laws.

 

 

 

Despite, his union arguing that there were good reasons for the safety breaches (including “overlooked” and “personal circumstances), Drake, DP decided: “…I am satisfied that the dismissal of Mr Maunder was on balance not harsh, unjust or unreasonable as contemplated by the Act.”

 

Commentary

 

The important factors that weighed in favour of the company in this matter was that they had in place OH&S procedure and reinforced them through induction and regular tool-box meetings.

Greg Reiffel Industrial Relations & Human Resources Consulting has been providing the following services to businesses for over 30 years:

 

  • General HR and IR advisory service.
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