Steel pipe manufacturer fined over incident in which worker’s foot was run over by forklift

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A steel pipe manufacturing business was convicted and fined $39,000 following an incident in which a worker’s foot was run over by a forklift.

The penalty was handed down earlier this month after the company pleaded guilty to breaches of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA).

On 27 October 2015, a boilermaker was acting as a spotter while helping a forklift operator to move a steel pipe at the company’s Burton premises when the incident happened. The company was charged with offences under the Act for failing to provide and maintain a safe system of work or a written safe work procedure for transporting pipes. SafeWork SA alleged that in failing to comply with its health and safety duty, the company exposed the victim to a risk of death or serious injury.

Industrial Magistrate Ardlie said that there were deficiencies in the company’s procedure although they had various safety systems in place prior to the incident.

SafeWork SA Acting Executive Director Dini Soulio said the case highlighted the importance for business operators to clearly identify foreseeable risks to health and safety, and to implement and communicate control measures – including appropriate use of exclusion zones to eliminate or minimise risks.

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