Court rejects strike-out call on building site death

A CHARGE against a building company accused of being responsible for the death of one of its employees will proceed, despite an attempt to have it quashed.

Counsel for Daytona Trading Pty Ltd launched a strike-out application on November 7 asking Magistrate Ross Risson to find the charge "invalid".

Daytona Trading has been charged with failing to discharge an electrical safety obligation after 20-year-old Jason Garrels died by electrocution on February 27 at Clermont.

He was assisting a co- worker, who was backfilling trenches in which cables leading to switchboards had been laid.

Jason had been attempting to move a temporary switchboard when he received the fatal shock.

Defence barrister Sean Farrell challenged the evidence of the Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) case.

Barrister Michael Byrne, for WHS, had said the case again Daytona Trading was "simple".

"They as employers exposed their employee to an electrical risk."

Mr Risson agreed.

Mr Farrells had argued that, if Mr Risson decided there was a case, there should be an order that "further and better particulars" be provided on what actions Daytona should have taken.

Mr Risson said yesterday it was not the responsibility of Workplace Health and Safety to particularise what Daytona Trading should have done in relation to the incident.

"I will dismiss the application," Mr Risson said.

A very relieved Michael Garrels left the Mackay Industrial Magistrates Court on hearing the decision.

"It was a right decision," Mr Garrels said.

He lives in Gympie with his wife Lee and their three other children, but travels to Mackay for every court mention related to the death of his son. "They're all waiting to hear what the outcome was. It's huge."

The matter was adjourned to January 20. Mr Risson asked that everyone have a list of agreed dates for a potential trial, which could take up to one week.


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