04:04 pm, Sunday 18 August, 2013
Northern coroner Jane Bentley has said that with the new evidence presented at the coronial inquest into the death of a worker who was electrocuted this week, Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) could reopen the investigation to find out whether the employer was at fault.
She said that “Considering that this inquest has heard new evidence which was not taken into account when WHS officers decided not to commence any prosecutions, I recommend that WHS now reopen the investigation into whether the employer should be prosecuted.”
The incident referred to happened in March 2011. The worker was welding mesh onto a hopper machine on a humid day and he was wearing protective headgear and gloves and perspiring. He was electrocuted and died a week later.
The coroner recommended that that humid conditioners are “inherently dangerous” for welders and that they should be fitted with devices that minimise the risks.
Originally WHS investigators had not proceeded with prosecuting the employer or the labour hire company that supplied their personnel because the equipment that the worker was using was in good working order.