Spinal injury from workplace incident

Sunday, 29 May, 2005

Tieman Industries has been fined $275,000 by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission sitting in Court Session following a workplace incident that led to the permanent disability of a worker.

The defendant pleaded guilty to breaching Section 15 (1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1983 for failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its workers. The court heard that on 5 April 2001, a worker was under the steel deck of a dock leveller at a site at Smeaton Grange, when it collapsed as a result of hydraulic failure. The steel safety prop was not designed to withstand dynamic force and collapsed under the weight of the falling deck, trapping the worker between the steel deck and the concrete floor.

The worker suffered severe and permanent spinal damage, and is now unable to walk and is confined to a wheelchair. Upon sentencing Tieman Industries, Justice Kavanagh commented that they had failed to provide a system of work that was safe and without risk.

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