Risk was forseeable

Thursday, 21 April, 2005

A Sydney manufacturer has been fined $208,000 by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission sitting in Court Session following the death of a young worker at its Revesby factory in 2001.

Foamex Polystyrene Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of its workers under Section 8(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000. The court heard that a 22-year-old factory hand, who had recently commenced work with Foamex, received fatal crushing injuries while cleaning the inside of a foam plastic moulding machine on 14 December 2001.

A warning by the company's factory supervisor in March 2000, that the die machine had to be fitted with appropriate guards, had been only partially addressed at the time of the fatal incident. WorkCover Chief Executive Officer, Jon Blackwell commented: "The risks to health and safety which led to the death of a young worker were clearly foreseeable. "The employer had been warned 20 months before this incident by its own factory manager that guards had to be fitted to the moulding machine, but this work was only partially undertaken - with tragic results."

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