& # 39; No one deserves to die at work & # 39 ;: the police fined nearly $ 400,000 after a cook and a cleaner, 54, were trapped in a freezer and died at a police training center
- The South Australian police were fined $ 390,000 for violating occupational safety legislation
- Cook Debra Summers, 54, died of hypothermia after being locked up in a freezer
- Mrs. Summers was also cleaner at the police training center in the Adelaide Hills
The South Australian police have been fined $ 390,000 for the death of a cook and a cleaner who were trapped in a walk-in freezer at a police training center in the Adelaide Hills.
But no officers or individuals will be accused of the death of Debra Summers in 2016.
Mrs. Summers died of hypothermia after being locked in the freezer at the Echunga facility.
The police pleaded guilty in the South Australian Employment Tribunal for violating labor safety legislation and police commissioner Linda Williams said on Tuesday that the force & # 39; hurt & # 39; was by the death of the 54-year-old.
The South Australian police was fined $ 390,000 for the death of a cook and cleaner Debra Summers (photo) who died of hypothermia after being trapped in a freezer in 2016
& # 39; It is terrible what happened to Deb. We are very sorry for the family, & she said.
& # 39; We will never disappoint anyone in our workplace. & # 39;
But Williams said that a full investigation had been conducted and that no disciplinary action would be taken against individual officers or personnel regarding the incident.
Tribunal Vice President Brian Gilchrist said that Mrs. Summers' death was both unexpected and preventable.
Deputy Police Commissioner Linda Williams (photo) said on Tuesday that the force was injured & # 39; was by the death of the 54-year-old
"Nobody deserves to die at work because of their employer's lack of care," Judge Gilchrist said.
& # 39; And there is no penalty that this court can impose that will rectify the wrong that happened.
& # 39; Neither can there be a connection between the amount of any fine and the value of Mrs. Summers' life.
& # 39; Her life was invaluable. & # 39;
In earlier comments, Public Prosecutor Jeff Powell said problems with the freezer and the problems in the training center had gone unnoticed or unmanaged for years.
& # 39; Aside from the obvious and anticipated dangers of someone working alone in a workplace, the precise problems with the walk-in freezer were not only foreseeable and obvious, they were also anticipated & # 39 ;, Powell said .
The crime scene at a police training center where Mrs. Summers froze to death. Prosecutor Jeff Powell said that problems with the freezer had remained unnoticed or unguarded for years
He said that a technical document describes how the freezer should be serviced every six months, including a check of the emergency release system.
Had the document been maintained, & # 39; in all likelihood, the precise consequences would have been found here & # 39 ;, said the public prosecutor.
SafeWork SA's Executive Director, Martyn Campbell, said the fine imposed on the police was one of the highest for violating occupational safety legislation.
But Mr Campbell said that no financial fine could compensate for the loss suffered by the Summers family.
& # 39; I hope this judgment gives them a sense of justice and allows them to begin the healing process, & # 39; he said.
SA Police Commissioner, police president Linda Williams, is pictured with leaving the national labor court. No officers or individuals will be held responsible for the death of Debra Summers in 2016