There was no-one to raise the alarm when a truck driver who died of heat stroke became stranded in remote desert near Wiluna after his truck became bogged, the WA Coroner has found.
Coroner Kevin Tavener this morning handed down his findings into the death of 35-year-old Anthony John Bradanovich whose body was found on the Gunbarrel Highway, near Wiluna, on January 23, 2011, about 32km from where his truck was bogged after he tried to walk for help.
Mr Tavener found Mr Bradanovich's death was an accident and he had died of exertional heat stroke but it was not possible to say why he had left his truck.
"What the evidence in this case does establish, however, is that the deceased was stranded, some considerable distance from his destination for some period of time, before anyone called for help," Mr Tavener said.
"No one was responsible for ascertaining whether the deceased arrived safely at his destination within a reasonable time."
Mr Bradanovich had been working as a truck driver for Cartwright Holdings, a subcontractor of Toll Express, for just two days when he died.
Mr Tavener said the inquest had made apparent the "disconnection" that had arisen between employers in the long distance transport industry.
"The disconnection has arisen due to commercial forces which have seen the industry broken down into a series of sub-contracting arrangements," he said.
"Although there may be good commercial reasons for adopting such a structure, it is necessary to ensure that safety is not inadvertently compromised.
"Although the overwhelming majority of trips carried out by commercial drivers in challenging environments are uneventful, that position should not generate complacency."
Mr Tavener said there was no evidence about how much water Mr Bradanovich, who was on his first trip to the Jundee gold mine, had with him or whether he received any instructions or advice about how much he should have taken with him.
Mr Tavener said it appeared he was not provided with any information which might have informed him about site specific radio channels or that they were constantly monitored.
He found Mr Bradanovich's induction at Cartwright was inadequate and was "not informative enough with respect to emergency breakdown procedures".
"Outback driving can be hazardous and a more formal, standardised safety induction would enable the training and education of drivers to be better monitored," Mr Tavener said.
Mr Tavener made six recommendations, including that Cartwright and Toll review their systems to improve the ways that drivers are provided with drinking water when travelling outside of the metropolitan area and that all drivers be provided with a route specific "emergency breakdown card" so they know what to do in the event of an emergency.
He also recommended that Cartwright and Toll provide its drivers with a personal locator beacon with an encoded GPS location and written directions and maps which clearly explain how to get to the expected destination.
Mr Tavener said the death reinforced the need for people to stay with their vehicles in the event of a breakdown and ensure they had enough drinking water when driving in arid areas.
Mr Tavener said Toll also needed to broaden its definition of "remote" location to take "into account communication difficulties experienced outside the metropolitan area".Cartwright Holdings declined to comment.