Company fined after worker was paralysed

An engineering company was fined $187,500 and ordered to pay $1000 in costs and levies after a worker was partially paralysed in a workplace accident.

According to the Adelaide Now, the Industrial Relations Court fined the engineering company for its failure in implementing guard railings around a machine used in the preparation of asphalt in May 2009.

The victim accidentally slipped into the pit as he was taking a break from cleaning and was crushed between the incline conveyor belt and drum roller. He suffered nerve damage, some broken bones, brain injuries and partial tetraplegia.

Magistrate Michael Ardlie said that the incident could have led to the victim’s death.

“The employee is highly unlikely to be able to work again or to be able to live independently,” said Magistrate Ardlie.

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

Magistrate Ardlie also said that the company had since taken action to provide protection and ensure safe work practices in its Dry Creek plant.

“It went further to ensure that Australia wide all its plant was reviewed to ensure that guarding was adequate,” said Mr Ardlie.

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