SRA fined for serious workplace injury

Wednesday, 18 August, 2004

The State Rail Authority of NSW has been fined $149,500 by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission sitting in court session following the serious injury of a guard who fell from a moving train at Mortdale railway station.

The State Rail Authority of NSW pleaded guilty to breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1983 for failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the employee. The court heard that on 25 November 1999, a guard had been preparing to alight from a train when it increased speed, causing her to stumble forward and fall onto the station platform.

The guard's rucksack caught on the body of the carriage and she was pulled along the platform with the train for about three metres, before being caught between the platform and the train. The guard sustained serious injuries, including multiple fractures to 10 ribs, fractures to both clavicles, a punctured lung, a puncture wound to the left hip, fractured septum and numerous cuts, abrasions and bruising.

Justice Boland said State Rail had failed to provide the guard with sufficient information, instruction and training regarding the boarding and alighting from trains, including the personal risks of doing so.

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