Feb 1st 2021
Monday 1st February 2021
Worker crushed to death and companies fined $750,000
Lightforce Asset Pty Ltd and Civil and Allied Technical Construction Pty Ltd were recently convicted and fined $750,000 after a worker was crushed to death by an industrial pile driver at a Port Augusta solar farm.
On 17 February 2018, the worker modified changes to the hydraulic pile driver, with his supervisor's knowledge, to enable longer piles to be driven. The modifications overrode safety mechanisms of the pile driver. After the modifications were made the hammer jammed. During a subsequent inspection of the hammer, the hammer released and dropped onto the worker, crushing him to death.
The SafeWork SA investigations identified that the supervisor was employed without the skills, knowledge, and experience to manage the worker's safety risk effectively.
SafeWork SA Executive Director, Martyn Campbell, said, "This investigation was a complex and protracted inquiry due to the contracting and subcontracting arrangements. That said, a high quality and thorough investigation resulted in a strong case to answer. I hope this conviction helps the family in their grief and recovery after losing a loved one."
When passing sentence, Deputy President Miles Crawley took into account the early plea of guilty and said, he could not accept that the risk of injury was not "self-evident or foreseeable".
Full Article: Safework.sa.gov.au.
Company fined $90,000 after worker's near-death experience
A Western Australian glazing company Madora Bay Glass Pty Ltd was fined $90,000 after a worker received near-fatal injuries from being trapped under multiple fallen glass sheets in February 2018.
The glazier enlisted an apprentice and a trainee to retrieve a sheet of glass he had selected for the job. The glazier informed the two workers to position themselves in front of the rack and hold the sheets above their heads, as he was removing them one or two at a time.
The weight became too much for the two workers when the remaining sheets fell onto them both. One worker was able to escape injury-free. However, the other could not move due to obtaining a severe leg injury and a spinal fracture.
WorkSafe WA Commissioner Darren Kavanagh said the case should serve as a reminder to employers to ensure they have safety procedures and the proper training and staff supervision.
Kavanagh stated that, “the incident is a reminder to employers to ensure that all workers are appropriately trained and adequately supervised and that safety procedures are in place and being used, especially after taking over an existing business’’.
Alerts issued for cattle and construction industries
NT WorkSafe issues two safety alerts after recent incidents in the construction and cattle industry.
The first alert emphasises the risk of severe or fatal injuries when working near unguarded machinery. An incident occurred in late December when a cattle worker obtained fatal injuries after getting entangled in a bore pump's moving parts.
The second alert emphasises the dangers of unauthorised personal accessing residential construction sites.
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