Metal tubing manufacturer fined after worker breaks leg

Friday, 03 April, 2020

Metal tubing manufacturer fined after worker breaks leg

SafeWork NSW has prosecuted Trans Vent Spiral, a Penrith metal tubing manufacturer, after a worker was seriously injured while loading a steel coil into a machine. The manufacturer was fined a total of $90,000 in the District Court of NSW for two charges under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

The incident occurred in January 2017, when a worker was using a forklift to load steel coils into a machine, despite not having a forklift licence. The worker picked up a 350 to 400 kg coil with a forklift tine, then left the forklift to manually inspect whether the coil was at the right angle to fit into the machine. The coil subsequently fell on his leg, causing a broken tibia and fibula.

Valerie Griswold, Executive Director of Investigations and Enforcement for SafeWork NSW, said it is essential to have a safe work method in place to avoid situations involving uncontrolled and unsecured loads.

“These coils are very heavy and become a serious danger when they’re in the air. However, the risk could have been eliminated with adequate safe work planning. One way to avoid having an unsecured load is to use a jib or sling and ensure only workers with a valid high-risk licence can operate a forklift,” said Griswold.

Trans Vent Spiral Tubing has 30 days to appeal the decision.

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