Firm to pay $60,000 for ute death

Malcolm Knox, 17/3/10

Having initially denied any wrongdoing, the Northern Territory employer of a Filipino 457 visa worker killed when he fell out of a utility has pleaded guilty to workplace violations and been fined $60,000. Pedro Balading, a 35-year-old father of three, was a Manila piggeries supervisor who arrived at Wollogorang Station in early 2007 and found himself isolated, underpaid and performing menial jobs. He asked to go home but was told by his employer, Panoy Pty Ltd, and the labour hire firm that brought him from the Philippines to complete his two-year contract. As reported in the Herald on August 28, 2007, Mr Balading died on June 6, 2007, when he fell out of a moving utility driven by another worker. Handing down the fine yesterday, the executive director of NT Work Health Authority, Laurene Hull, said the death was preventable: ”Panoy Pty Ltd failed to take appropriate steps to ensure the hazard posed by travelling in the back of utilities was known to the workers and the risks appropriately managed.”