AN INQUEST is examining whether WA should have safe handling protocols or codes of practice for storing glass and unpacking shipping containers after a worker was killed at a glass sheet importing company.
John Robert Borradaile, 26, died on February 4, 2013 following an incident at Penguin International in Perth where he was struck to the face and chest by a crate and then pinned down at his legs.
Counsel assisting the coroner Fleur Allen said co-worker Jack Dilnot was in a forklift while Mr Borradaile was at the back of the crate with his hands on either side of it and Mark Dodd supported the crate from behind.
The forklift slowly dragged the crate towards the entrance of the container and Mr Dilnot was checking behind when Mr Dodd screamed: “No!”
When he turned, Mr Borradaile had moved to the left side of the crate but he was not touching it, Ms Allen said on Tuesday.
Mr Dilnot saw the crate strike Mr Borradaile’s face, knocking off his glasses, before bouncing back and hitting his upper chest.
The pallet then skidded out at the base and dragged Mr Borradaile down the side of the container, landing on his lap with the crate pinning his legs.
Mr Dilnot, Mr Dodd and the victim’s brother Richard Borradaile unsuccessfully tried to lift the 1.2 tonne crate before Mr Dilnot used the boom arm on the forklift to remove it.
Mr Borradaile died in hospital, and the cause of death was determined to be a neck injury, with damage to the spinal column, spinal cord and complete transection of the windpipe with injury to the surrounding soft tissues.
Before the death, Penguin International did not provide any formal training for unloading containers, but the company has now written a job safety analysis for the safe removal and unpacking of glass pallets, the inquest heard on Tuesday.