Manufacturing giant Thales has issued a statement in response to legal proceedings being issued against the company in relation to the death of a Bendigo employee in July 2020.
"On 2 July 2020, a serious incident occurred at Thales' Bendigo site involving a Thales employee. The employee died as a result of his injuries.
"Thales deeply regrets that the incident occurred and the impact on the worker, his family, his friends and his colleagues. The worker was a valued member of the Thales family and a valued member of the local Bendigo community. He is deeply missed.
"Thales cooperated with Comcare's investigation into the incident and has provided support to the worker's family and friends, as well as the workers at the Thales Bendigo site.
"Thales takes its health and safety obligations extremely seriously and is committed to applying industry best practice in relation to the safety of its workers and others.
"In the past two years, Thales has invested significantly in safety initiatives both at the Bendigo site and more broadly across its national operations. This investment will continue and is a critical part of Thales' commitment to work health and safety.
"On 30 June 2022, Comcare issued charges against Thales relating to the incident. The matter will be heard in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court at 9.30am on 18 August 2022. Given the matter is now before the Courts, it is not appropriate to comment further at this stage."
Defence contractor Thales Australia Limited has been charged with breaching Commonwealth work health and safety laws over the death of a worker at its manufacturing facility in Bendigo two years ago.
Following a Comcare investigation, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has filed a single charge in the Bendigo Magistrates Court alleging the company failed in its duties under the federal Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).
It is alleged Thales breached its safety duty under the WHS Act by failing to provide and maintain a safe system of work, and failing to provide information and training to workers.
The incident happened on July 2, 2020 at Thales's North Bendigo facility where the company manufactures Hawkei protected vehicles for the Australian Defence Force.
The charge is a Category 2 criminal offence under the WHS Act, carrying a maximum penalty of $1.5 million.
The matter is listed for mention in the Bendigo Magistrates Court on August 18.
Thales Australia is a licensed national employer in the Comcare scheme and subject to regulation under Commonwealth work health and safety laws.
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