The daughter of an elderly man who died after he was hit by a large rubbish bin outside a Hungry Jack's restaurant says the $275,000 fine the fast food chain has been given is a "drop in the ocean".
Rex and Moira Haysom were about to order lunch at Hungry Jack's Mill Park store on March 8, 2013 when they walked in front of a truck that was lowering an empty industrial bin into a loading bay.
As the bin obstructed the truck driver's view out the windscreen, he was powerless to stop the Haysoms being hit by the bin and pinned to the ground.
Mr Haysom, 86, suffered chest and abdominal injuries and died that night in hospital, while his wife of 45 years suffered a head injury. She needed high care afterwards and died three years later, also aged 86.
Their daughter, Karen Cowley, said the couple were "joined at the hip".
Hungry Jack's Pty Ltd and two waste management companies, Veolia Environmental Services (Australia) Pty Ltd and Visy Paper Pty Ltd, were on Friday each convicted and fined $275,000 after they were last month found guilty by a County Court jury of failing to ensure persons other than employees are not exposed to risk.
Hungry Jack's contracted Veolia to remove recyclable material and Veolia subcontracted the task to Visy. Visy provided the truck and trained the driver, Veolia supplied the bins and Hungry Jack's staff moved the bins to the edge of the loading bay for collection. The loading bay is between the drive-through and store entrance.
Judge Trevor Wraight told the Haysom family no penalty could put a value on Mr Haysom's life. The maximum penalty each company faced was a $1.2 million fine.
But outside court, Ms Cowley said while the sentence brought closure, the penalties were inadequate. "I just think $275,000 is a drop in the ocean for these three companies," she said.
She said the design of the Mill Park store and car park posed risks for pedestrians, and hoped her father's death would prompt a greater focus on safety outside fast-food restaurants.
"Yes, my parents were elderly but they're entitled to go and get a hamburger safely and there was no footpath," she said.
"I just feel the measures that have been taken aren't sufficient enough, and I truly think and hope that WorkSafe, together with Hungry Jack's and other companies like it take it very, very seriously and consider their pedestrians in the future and provide adequate safety."
Lawyers for the three companies told the trial no one had ever previously been hit by a bin across Australia and the driver never reported any troubles in 70 previous collections at Mill Park.
But Judge Wraight said on Friday the driver told the trial emptying the bin at Mill Park was difficult because of the proximity of pedestrians and cars. The driver suffered severe depression after the incident, has been unable to work and has been plagued by nightmares, the court heard.
After Mr Haysom's death, Hungry Jack's and the two waste companies agreed bins could not be emptied after 6am and truck drivers should call 10 minutes before arriving. Prosecutors said the companies should have foreseen the risks and implemented those measures much earlier.
Ms Cowley said her father was an extraordinary man who sold his own business when his first wife [Ms Cowley's biological mother] died, in order to raise his three children. He and Moira married in 1968.
"In the '50s men just gave away their kids as wards of the state. My father chose to sell his business, come home and raise the children, so that does say an awful lot about him," she said.
The three companies have prior convictions interstate and in Victoria over safety breaches, though none in the past decade. Judge Wraight described them as good corporate citizens which employed thousands of people and contributed to philanthropic and community causes.