15/02/2011 - 11:29

G&G Mining fined over crushed worker

15/02/2011 - 11:29

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Steel fabrication and engineering group G&G Mining has been fined $60,000 over an incident in which a worker from a labour hire firm was crushed and left a paraplegic.

Steel fabrication and engineering group G&G Mining Fabrication has been fined $60,000 over an incident in which a worker from a labour hire firm was crushed and left a paraplegic.

G&G pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the provision of a safe workplace under a labour hire arrangement and was fined in the Armadale Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Workplace safety watchdog, WorkSafe, said the injured worker was employed under a labour hire arrangement as a welder.

"On the day he was injured, the worker was engaged in welding a component of a large (45,000 litre) water tank," a statement released by WorkSafe said.

"There was no adequate mechanism used to hold the tank component in place while it was being welded, as chains connected to an overhead gantry had been removed before welding began.

"Consequently, the component toppled onto the worker, causing serious crush injuries and leaving him without the use of his legs."

WorkSafe WA director Joe Attard said the case was a reminder that host employers and labour hire companies both had a responsibility to ensure safety standards were maintained.

"Host employers have an obligation to ensure the workplaces in which workers are placed are safe and healthy, something that clearly did not happen in this case," Mr Attard said.

"The court heard that the welding practice used was inherently dangerous, as it relied heavily on the tank component remaining in place without any support.

"It was practicable for the employer to have ensured the component was supported during the welding work, but the required safe system of work was not implemented.

"Both parties to a labour hire arrangement need to be aware of the responsibilities they have in ensuring that workplaces are safe for the workers sent to host companies by labour hire providers."

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