Waste management company fined $300,000 after worker killed in excavator incident


A waste management company has been fined $300,000, and its director fined a further $60,000 after a man was killed in an excavator incident.

The 45-year-old worker was crushed by an excavator at the company’s facility in Midcombe on November 26, 2016, when the excavator used to sort waste reversed and caught the worker’s foot. It knocked him down and he died at the scene.

The company and its director were charged with breaching the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) by exposing the worker to a risk of death or serious injury. Both the company and director pleaded guilty.

“This awful death is a stark reminder of the responsibilities employers have to make sure they provide a safe workplace,” said Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean.

“At this business, the risk of workers coming into contact with the excavator while sorting waste was significant, and the business should have had safe work systems to prevent it.

“The investigation found there was no traffic management plan or exclusion zone to separate workers from the excavator and no means for sorters to communicate with the excavator operator.

“Workers had received no training on the need for an exclusion zone around the excavator and no supervisor had been appointed to enforce an exclusion zone.

“The cost of addressing this risk would have been negligible as a communication procedure could have been quickly and easily developed, and implemented.

“Instead, a vulnerable worker has lost his life in a completely preventable incident.”

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