South Australia’s Industrial Court recently convicted specialist vessel management services company Inco Ships Pty Ltd and imposed a penalty of $200,000 plus court costs over an incident in which a worker died.
In Whyalla on 15 December 2012, Aries Nemiada, an experienced and qualified deck mechanic, received fatal crush injuries while performing maintenance work on an iron ore trans-shipment barge managed by Inco Ships.
Following investigation by SafeWork SA, Inco Ships was charged with failing to provide a safe system of work as well as failing to provide adequate information, instruction, supervision and training.
A compensation payment of $20,000 was also paid to Nemiada’s spouse and children as part of the decision made by the Industrial Court.
Presiding Magistrate Lieschke confirmed that prior to a guilty finding Inco Ships neither acknowledged nor accepted any legal responsibility for breaching its legal obligations to ensure workplace safety.
“Inco must now surely appreciate that its refusal to accept legal responsibility for the offence was misconceived, with likely hurtful consequences to the victim’s family, friends and colleagues,” said Magistrate Lieschke.
“This conviction highlights the importance of guarding moving parts on high powered machinery” said SafeWork SA executive director, Ms Marie Boland.
“Large industrial plant continues to pose serious risks and this conviction reinforces the importance of managing those risks through clear procedures for safe maintenance work.”
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