Geoff McDonald, who was a Mechanical Engineer, who assisted many clients of Macrossan & Amiet for 30 years with Expert Reports concerning accidents and means by which they could have been prevented, died on 28 June 2016.
Geoff obtained a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Queensland University in 1960.
Geoff and Professor Frank Grigg, as university students, did extensive research into tractor rollovers resulting in deaths. Their research indicated that a number of the people killed were highly experienced farmers who did not take risks and still lost their lives.
As a result of their research, rollover protection (ROPS) is now compulsory on all farm machinery. Initially their proposals with respect to compulsory rollover protection on farm tractors were rejected by National Party members of the Bjelke-Petersen government because of the cost that would be imposed on farmers. Their attitude changed later when the member for Redlands, John Goleby rolled his tractor on his Mt Cotton property and was killed and a by-election became necessary.
Geoff’s research lead to a number of changes in rollover protection in various forms of machinery and improved seating in various forms of machinery in the mining industry and other rural industries.
Geoff McDonald was passionate about improving safety for workers and improving the investigation into incidents for the purpose of attempting to prevent them from occurring again.
Geoff McDonald was saddened by the culture that has developed in the mining industry where workers are instructed to report incidents but are discouraged from reporting any loss time incident as the reporting often results in the person injured subsequently losing their employment.
Geoff was honoured by his peers in being granted the inaugural Safety Institute of Australia Lifetime Achievement Award for service to the field of health and safety in Australian workplaces.
Roger Kahler and Brendan McDougall from the InterSafe Group were mentored by Geoff McDonald as young Engineers.