11:20 pm, Thursday 22 September, 2011
The NSW Industrial Court has fined a brakes company and its director a total of $127,400 after the death of an employee in an industrial blender.
The machine operator was killed when he was cleaning out the high-powered blender in March 2008.
The power to the machine had not been isolated, and the worker received extensive crush injuries and lacerations when it activated while he was still inside.
The court fined the company $117,000 and its managing director $10,400 after each pleaded guilty to breaching the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2000.
WorkCover NSW spokesman Peter Dunphy said the risks to the employee’s safety were entirely foreseeable and the incident should never have happened.
“This case is particularly significant given that the company’s insurer had 12 months previously identified major shortcomings in the company’s occupational health and safety systems,” he said.
“The WorkCover investigation found that many of the identified problems had not been addressed.
“The steps that should have been taken were not only simple, but they were well-known safety practices in the industry.
“This is a very tragic reminder of the need to maintain proper safety protocols.
“If this company had done this, chances are a man would be alive today.”