Recycler enters $295K enforceable undertaking after fall

Tuesday, 27 February, 2024

Recycler enters $295K enforceable undertaking after fall

A Victorian recycler and waste management company has entered into an enforceable undertaking of $295,000 to improve safety outcomes after a worker fell four metres through a steel grate at the company’s West Melbourne sorting plant. Bingo (Vic) Pty Ltd was charged with failing to provide necessary information, instruction, training or supervision to enable employees to work safely. WorkSafe Victoria may reinstate the charge if the company contravenes or withdraws from the undertaking.

In March 2021, a worker was cleaning dust and debris from the roof of a blower cage at the sorting plant. A panel gave way when the worker stepped from the designated walkway into the caged roof, and the worker fell to the floor below, sustaining broken ribs, three dislodged discs and vision damage.

WorkSafe Victoria alleges that it was necessary for Bingo to instruct workers not to clean the blower cage roof; alternately, Bingo should have provided workers with the manual to understand the maintenance requirements and general safety measures while working with the recycling plant. Under the enforceable undertaking, the company is required to develop a public education campaign about the safe disposal of emerging hazardous wastes, such as silica dust and devices containing lithium-ion batteries. The company must also design, install, commission and trial an advanced biodegradable dust suppression system and sponsor the development of an OHS Body of Knowledge chapter on contractor management.

The company must also carry out a pilot program for proximity sensor systems for six front-end loaders used at sites in West Melbourne, Braeside, Clarinda and Campbellfield. Additionally, the company will donate $20,000 to the Amy Gillet Foundation’s ‘Safe Roads for Safe Cycling’ initiative (in recognition of the frequency of Bingo drivers encountering cyclists on the road) and provide funding to 20 truck drivers in Victoria’s waste management industry to receive road user safety training from the Amy Gillet Foundation.

To prevent falls from height, WorkSafe advises employers to eliminate the risk by, where practicable, doing all or some of the work on the ground or from a solid construction, or by implementing passive fall prevention devices such as scaffolds, perimeter screens, guardrails, safety mesh or elevating work platforms. Employers are also advised to use a positioning system, such as a travel-restraint system, to ensure employees work within a safe area. Using a fall arrest system, such as a harness, catch platform or safety net, is also advised to lower the risk of injuries in the event of a fall. Employers can also use a fixed or portable ladder, or implement administrative controls.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer said that while any fall can lead to injury, the risk of serious injury or death increases when working at heights above two metres. “Working at heights can be incredibly dangerous, and employers must do everything they can to eliminate or reduce those risks — including making sure workers have the proper instruction and training to work safely,” Beer said.

Image credit:

Related News

Safety reminder issued after spike in construction falls

WorkSafe Victoria has called on members of the construction industry to check fall prevention...

Ballooning company fined after worker injured in fall

A Victorian hot air ballooning company has been fined $44,000 after a workplace incident where an...

Company fined after worker falls through ceiling panel

A metal fabrication subcontractor has been convicted and fined $35,000 after a worker fell four...

  • All content Copyright © 2024 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd