A $100,000 fine has been issued after young child was seriously injured by golf cart driven by a school groundskeeper.

On 12 November, a not-for-profit organisation in Brisbane was fined $100,000 after a golf cart incident left a young child seriously injured.

The school groundskeeper was driving a golf buggy on a concrete pathway adjacent to a toilet block when a six-year-old year student ran from the toilet block in front of the cart which struck him. He suffered a subdural haemorrhage, fractured left tibia and damage to his left fibula, spending five days in hospital and another week at home recovering.

The investigation revealed the defendant failed to take any steps in relation to the risk posed by the golf cart being used within the school grounds.

In sentencing, Magistrate Trevor Morgan observed the use of the buggy in a school around primary school-aged children posed a “blindly obvious” risk if not managed appropriately. The Court found there was a clear need to conduct a safety assessment and implement plans for using the cart.

Magistrate Morgan indicated the failure by the defendant in this instance saw a child suffer serious injuries, which required significant and painful episodes of physical and psychological rehabilitation.

In relation to the general culpability and extent of blame, the Magistrate indicated it was quite significant.

The defendant was fined $100,000 plus court costs.

epar recommends:

1. Implement the epar Safe Work Procedure (SWP) for the safe operation of a golf cart. If you do not have this procedure, epar customers are able to order the document at the discounted fee of $49. Orders can be placed via email to [email protected]

2. The epar SAO’s (Safe Act Observations Checklists) be regularly conducted to ensure staff are operating golf carts safely.

3. Issue your staff with their own Epar Risk Pocket Book.

If you need any advice or support please call our free support hotline 1300 471 175 or email [email protected]