Earthmoving company fined $110,000 for work safety breaches - 5.4.16

The Industrial Court handed down a $111,000 fine plus court fees to an earthmoving company for failing to comply with providing a primary duty of care and for failing to comply with their health and safety duty, thereby exposing an individual to a risk of death or serious injury or illness.

The prosecution followed an incident in October 2013 where a male worker operating a soil screening plant tripped and caught his right arm in an unguarded tail drum.

Because of the incident, the worker’s arm was amputated after being placed into an induced coma and airlifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

“This offence is an extremely serious breach of basic workplace safety laws, and was entirely foreseeable,” Magistrate Leischke.

The magistrate also said the guarding of large and inherently dangerous machinery is fundamental to safety.

The company was initially handed down a fine of $185,00 which was reduced in recognition of the company’s early guilty plea and the gesture of a partial reparation made to the injured worker.

“This incident which could have cost a man his life was preventable,” said SafeWork SA Executive Director, Ms. Marie Boland.

“This case should serve as a reminder that breaches of the state’s work health and safety laws come with severe penalties, not to mention the significant human and community costs of a serious injury like this one,” she said.

Source: OHS News