Queensland's first sentence for industrial manslaughter has been handed down, with an auto wrecking yard ordered to pay $3 million over the death of a worker.
Tiger Barry Willis, 58, died eight days after he was pinned between a forklift and a truck at Brisbane Auto Recycling in May last year.
Company directors Asadullah Hussaini, 25, and Mohammad Ali Jan Karimi, 23, were sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, wholly suspended, after they pleaded guilty to engaging in reckless conduct.
Judge Anthony Rafter says the men's conduct led to Mr Willis's death.
"I have viewed the CCTV footage. It is incredibly distressing to see Mr Willis crushed by the force of the forklift," he told the Brisbane District Court on Thursday.
The court heard Hussaini and Karimi had not bothered to implement safety systems to protect its workers despite operating Brisbane Auto Recycling for four years.
Hussaini admitted to investigators he simply told his staff to work safely.
"There was no real attempt to control the threat posed by mobile plant," Judge Rafter said.
"Whether due to expediency for commercial gain or complacency, or both, the moral culpability of each is high."
"The defendants knew of the potential consequences and the risk which was catastrophic."
After Mr Willis was struck, Hussaini told a triple-zero operator and paramedics that he had fallen from the truck and then maintained the mistruth to doctors, despite knowing what had actually happened.
He also initially lied to investigators about which staff member was driving the forklift.
The actual driver was later found to be an inexperienced and unlicensed worker, who has been charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death.
Karimi delayed handing over CCTV footage of the incident.
Karimi also told Mr Willis's daughter, Josephine Cleeland, the CCTV footage may not be required and proposed a version of events where Mr Willis did not winch a car properly and it fell back onto him.
"That was disgraceful behaviour occurring as it did when Mr Willis's daughter was greatly distressed," Judge Rafter said.
Both men later cooperated with investigators and pleaded guilty to the reckless conduct charges, which relate to their failure to ensure the business had effective safety systems in place.
Brisbane Auto Recycling pleaded guilty to causing his death at its Rocklea plant for failing to effectively separate pedestrians from a mobile plant and supervise workers.
The company had business and public liability insurance but no WorkCover.
It was also about nine months behind in superannuation payments for staff.
Hussaini and Karimi came to Australia as teenage refugees in 2010, having fled Afghanistan after they were violently kidnapped.
The maximum penalty for reckless conduct is five years' imprisonment or $600,000.
Corporate industrial manslaughter offenders are liable for a fine of up to $10 million.
Australian Associated Press