More than 300 mourners gathered to farewell Inpex worker Carl Delaney at his funeral in Darwin in 2017.
More than 300 mourners gathered to farewell Inpex worker Carl Delaney at his funeral in Darwin in 2017.

Companies face court over Inpex death

LAWYERS for two companies charged over the death of Inpex worker Carl Delaney in 2017 have appeared in court for the first time.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd and Whittens Group Pty Ltd are both charged with failing to comply with a health and safety duty and lawyers for both companies fronted the Darwin Local Court on Tuesday.

Mr Delaney was killed when he fell from scaffolding and was engulfed by perlite insulation dust at about 8pm on November 29, causing him to suffocate.

NT WorkSafe allege he was working alone and wearing an unsecured harness at the time and the two companies failed to maintain a safe system of work or provide supervision as required under workplace law.

If the charges are proven, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Whittens Group each face a maximum fine of $1.5 million.

In a statement released shortly after the incident, Whittens Group chief executive, Louise Whitten, said the company was "heartbroken by the loss of Carl who was a highly respected member of our team and a good friend to many".

Kawasaki Heavy Industries executive officer, Akihisa Yamamoto, said the death was "a tragic event for all involved".

Speaking at his funeral in December 2017, Mr Delaney's wife, Terry, described him as a "passionate" and "generous" man who "loved and was loved by everyone he came into contact with".

"Some people have travelled a long way, and some from around the corner, and it is a testament to the man he was that so many people are here today," she said.

"He wasn't perfect, we weren't the perfect couple but we were perfect for each other and our bickering has been keeping people entertained for years.

"More than anything, he was a family man and was proud of his boys and the men that they have become.

On Tuesday, counsel for WorkSafe, Duncan McConnel, asked for an eight-week adjournment but Whittens' lawyer Markus Spazzapan asked for 12 weeks to obtain additional documents.

The matter will return to court on April 6.