NT WorkSafe has charged Darwin shipping company Conlon Murphy Pty Ltd (Barge Express) and one of its workers following the death of a deckhand in January of last year.
Fly-in, fly-out worker Daniel Bradshaw was found in the water between the vessel Sammy Express and the wharf at Hudson Creek, with later investigations showing injuries consistent with striking a solid object after falling.
His toxicology report showed a high level of blood alcohol content.
NT WorkSafe says it found no gangway to allow safe access to the Sammy Express at the time of the incident.
The vessel was Mr Bradshaw’s home during his four week shift and to disembark, workers had to jump across a gap onto a tyre tied to the wharf before climbing onto the wharf.
Barge Express faces a charge of failing to comply with its health and safety duty.
Sammy Express master, Nicholas Mitchell, also faces a similar charge, with NT WorkSafe alleging Mr Mitchell was responsible for rigging a gangway to provide safe vessel access.
If found guilty, Barge Express faces a maximum penalty of $1.5m while Mr Mitchell faces a maximum penalty of $150,000.
The matter is listed for mention in the Darwin Local Court on Tuesday February 27.
While welcoming the charges, MUA NT branch secretary Thomas Mayor said more needed to be done to improve safety at work.
“The safety of workers must be the most important priority for employers and they need to know there are serious consequences for them if they don’t provide a safe workplace,” Mr Mayor said.
“The NT is in a minority of state and territory jurisdictions that does not have industrial manslaughter legislation.
“The MUA remains very concerned that WorkSafe NT is not taking strong enough action to investigate safety issues on worksites.”