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Engineering Company Fined for Failure to Install Guard Railings

Date: 
Thursday, 3 May, 2012 - 10:00
Category: 
Incidents & prosecutions

The Industrial Relations Court  has fined an engineering company $187,500 for a workplace accident in May 2009 that left a man partially paralysed.

The company was fined for failing to install guard railings around a machine that prepared asphalt.

The court found there were also limited safety protocols regarding the cleaning of the machine, the task that the worker was undertaking at the time of the accident.

The victim, who had worked for the company for eight years, slipped into the pit during a break in cleaning and was crushed between the incline conveyor belt and drum roller.

He sustained partial tetraplegia, significant brain injuries, broken bones and nerve damage.

In his judgment, Magistrate Michael Ardlie said the incident could have led to death.

"The employee is highly unlikely to be able to work again or to be able to live independently," Mr Ardlie said.

"It is clear, and it was not disputed, that in the circumstances the risk was that the employee could have suffered fatal injuries."

He added that the company had shown regret and had taken action to ensure proper protection and safe work practices were carried out throughout its Dry Creek plant.

"It went further to ensure that Australia wide all its plant was reviewed to ensure that guarding was adequate," he said.