Business fined $650K over worker’s death

skid steer_Elfiepenn

Photo: Elfiepenn

A foundry and a metal casting company have been convicted and fined $650,000 following the death of a worker in 2014.

The business has been fined in the Melbourne County Court on Wednesday. The company was found guilty of failing to provide and maintain safe plant following a 10-day trial.

The incident happened on 22 July 2014. The worker was operating a skid steer loader to move recently-cast heavy metal components into a cooling bin, when a 276kg. metal casting crashed through the skid steer windscreen, resulting to a fatal injury.

Investigation revealed that the weight, height, and proximity of the castings created a risk. While there had been no prior incidents of a casting falling back onto the windscreen of a skid steer loader, the court heard the company knew, or ought to have known that this could happen.

It was understood that it was reasonably practicable for the company to reduce the risk by using alternative machinery that did not put its workers as close to the castings.

“Every family should expect that when their loved ones go off to work, their employer is doing their utmost to keep them safe,” said WorkSafe Health and Safety Executive Director Julie Nielsen.

“This includes making sure they are using appropriate machinery and equipment and that measures are put in place to control risks as they are identified.”

“WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute those employers who fail to do all that is reasonably possible to protect the health and safety of their workers.”

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