09:47 pm, Monday 9 September, 2013
A 57-year-old worker died in August 2009 when he was hit in the head by a pipeline. At the time he was working at a coal seam gas mining site in NSW near Narrabri.
The coal seam gas company pleaded guilty to breaching occupational health and safety laws” because they had not made sure that their workers were not exposed to risk when working at the site which was run by a subcontractor at the time.
The NSW Industrial Court heard that the worker was under contract to assist with extracting a piece of pipeline from the ground and just before he was hit in the head he was instructed to sit a distance away from the operation.
But he was found lying unconscious on the ground just after the chain that was pulling the pipe snapped.
He died in hospital later from massive head injuries.
In the judgment handed down last Friday it was stated that it was “obvious and foreseeable that there was a risk of injury to any person at the site if struck by a recoiling pipeline.”
And that even though the man’s employer had systems that ensured safety it did not check whether that there were safe work methods in place for the activities undertaken at the site where the worker was killed and that “simple and effective measures” being used could have prevented the incident.
The company was fined $120,000.