Workplace explosion leads to $200,000 fine

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Photo: Activedia-1, Pixabay

A NSW business and its director have been fined $200,000 following a workplace explosion that left a man with severe burns.

The incident happened at a Tatton property, Wagga Wagga in July 2015.

Judge David Russell of the Sydney District Court ordered the business to pay a $160,000 fine, with its director fined $40,000 over the July 1, 2015, incident, after pleading guilty to breaching the WHS Act (NSW).

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the victim was an innocent bystander who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“This man approached Jay Jenkins from a neighbouring property just as Jenkins was using a handheld LPG gas torch to soften bitumen,” Mr. Kean said.

“The bitumen was contained in a vehicle being used to seal a driveway, but an investigation by SafeWork NSW found Jenkins had modified the vehicle and made it unsafe.

“His dodgy actions led to an explosion and fireball, and had a shocking effect on another man’s life.”

They have 28 days to appeal against the sentences.

Mr. Kean said the director not only endangered others but himself.

“Let this be a warning to other NSW businesses – the NSW Government takes workplace safety seriously and if you break the law, then we’ll be coming after you.”

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