Foundry fined for crush and burn injuries

Tuesday, 30 September, 2008

A company was fined almost $30,000 recently for failing to provide any safe operating instructions before a worker was injured at an Adelaide foundry.

Bradken Resources was fined $28,900 over an incident at its Kilburn foundry in November 2005, involving a worker who was using an oxy-acetylene torch to cut up large, metal, cone-shaped ‘mantels’ for use in mineral processing.

In the process, a piece of metal weighing an estimated 800 kg fell and crushed the worker’s lower right leg, breaking both bones. He also suffered a full thickness burn to the back of his right hand.

His hand was badly scarred despite skin grafts, and he may need further corrective surgery for his leg.

Investigating the incident, SafeWork SA determined that:

  • there were no written safe operating procedures advising of the risks of such work, or how to perform such work safely.
  • there was no physical barrier to protect the worker from the object being worked on.

In handing down the sentence, Industrial Magistrate Stephen Lieschke agreed the injuries could have been fatal and said the company should have had a more thorough safety review system.

“If that had been in place and had been carried out competently, the dangers in this method of work were likely to have been identified and eliminated or minimised.”

“This company has decades of experience in this business. It should have known what the safety risks were and managed them accordingly," said SafeWork SA acting executive director, Peter Hampton.

“Mature, experienced companies such as this are often looked up to as leaders in their field.

“They should lead by example by being proactive in their safety management as well.”

 

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