An indoor shooting range in Brisbane has been fined $77,000 after a worker suffered lead poisoning from exposure to ammunition.
According to a report from the ABC, the 34-year-old worker was diagnosed with acute lead poisoning. The worker was complaining of several symptoms including a “foggy” head, metallic taste in his mouth as well as a tingling sensation in his hands and feet.
A blood test conducted revealed that the lead level reading was almost 13 times the acceptable high-end range.
The victim was brought to a hospital and underwent chelation therapy, which is a procedure done to remove heavy metals from the body. He developed some neurological and physical disabilities.
The victim wasn’t able to return to work.
Medical records indicated that the worker absorbed lead via the respiratory tract. It was also possible that the worker absorbed lead via the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts.
The company pleaded guilty to a breach of failing to keep the worker safe.
The court did not record a conviction but Magistrate Jacqui Payne noted that no blood monitoring was done at the firm despite existing regulations. She also noted that personal protective equipment was available, but was only used occasionally.
Ms. Payne considered the company’s guilty plea and previous good record as well as the improvements the company implemented following the incident.