Labour company fined after worker killed at timber mill

Wednesday, 07 July, 2021

Labour company fined after worker killed at timber mill

A labour hire company has been fined $50,000 and ordered to pay costs of $10,438 for failing to provide and maintain a safe system of work, after a worker died at a Benalla timber mill in 2018. The court heard that the worker, who was employed by Recruitment Select Pty Ltd, had commenced work at the timber mill in February 2018. However, the company was unaware that the worker was later moved into a new role in a different section of the factory.

In May 2018, the worker was removing rejected timber from a moulding machine when he was dragged into the unguarded shaft of a conveyor belt and pinned against a metal upright. He suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene. WorkSafe Victoria Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said the company should have done more to assess the risks at the workplace.

“Labour hire agencies not only need to establish if a workplace is safe in the first place, they must continue monitoring their employee and consult with them on health and safety matters relevant to their job. This includes making sure the host does not give their employees new or different tasks, especially tasks unrelated to their experience and qualifications,” said Nielsen.

D&R Henderson Pty Ltd, the operator of the timber mill, is also facing charges over the incident.

Image credit: © Livshitskiy

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