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Almost eighteen months after apprentice jockey Mikaela Claridge lost her life in an early morning fall at trackwork at the Cranbourne on August 30, 2019, Worksafe Victoria has laid eight charges relating to her death alleging serious breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Cranbourne Turf Club has had six charges laid against it, while the Ken Keys owned training establishment … Saloon Park Pty Ltd … has been issues with two charges. Claridge was apprenticed to Keys at the time of the fall.

It is understood that three of the charges directed at the Cranbourne Turf Club relate to their alleged failure to ensure that, as far as possible, people, other than its employees, were not exposed to health and safety risks … with a further three charges relating to their alleged failure to ensure its workplace was safe.

The particulars of the Workforce Victoria investigation would appear to have focussed on the ‘sand trails’ at Cranbourne, where the incident occurred, and whether the maintenance of this aspect of the Cranbourne training centre met the required standard of safety.

The other two charges are directed at Saloon Park with Worksafe Victoria alleging that it failed to ensure that employees did not ride the ‘sand trails’ in the dark (the Claridge incident reportedly occurred at around 4.35am) and, also, for allegedly failing to provide a safe system of work as prescribed under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The case is set to be filed in court on 17 March.

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