Queensland’s independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, Aaron Guilfoyle, on Tuesday filed three charges against Ardent Leisure Limited in the Brisbane Magistrates Court.
The company has been charged with three offences under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, for allegedly failing to comply with its health and safety duty and exposing individuals to a risk of serious injury or death.
It is alleged Ardent Leisure failed to provide and maintain safe plant and structures and systems of work.
The company also allegedly failed to provide information, training, instruction or supervision necessary to protect people from risk.
Each charge carries a maximum penalty of $1.5 million.
“We again express our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of Roozbeh Araghi, Luke Dorsett, Kate Goodchild and Cindy Low for their loss and ongoing suffering and say sorry to all of the people impacted by this tragedy,” the company said in a statement.
“The new leadership team is committed to continuing to improve and enhance safety systems and practices with the aim of becoming a global industry leader in theme park safety and operations.”
Coroner James McDougall in February referred Ardent Leisure to Queensland’s Office of Industrial Relations for possible prosecution under workplace laws.
Goodchild, her brother Dorsett and his partner Araghi from Canberra, and Sydney mother-of-two Low were killed when the Thunder River Rapids ride malfunctioned in October 2016.
The four died after being flung into a mechanised conveyor when their raft collided with another and partially flipped after the water pump failed, causing water levels to drop.
The families of the four victims were informed of the charges before the announcement.
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