BHP Billiton found guilty for worker’s death

BHP Billiton has been convicted over a worker’s death at a Port Hedland workshop in 2008.

The company was found guilty of failing to provide a safe working environment when Andrew McLaughlin was crushed by a scissor lift.

Magistrate Peter Malone ruled that the company failed to provide instruction and supervision or implement and enforce a suitable job hazard assessment, the ABC reported.

Malone found that the failure to conduct these measures led to McLaughlin’s death.

The maximum penalty for the offence is $400,000.

Sentencing will take place on March 19.

In a statement a BHP spokeswoman said the company will take time to reflect on the legal aspects of the court’s decision.

Following the accident which happened in December 2008, BHP suspended its key iron ore rail and port operations at its Nelsons Point iron ore crushing and shipping facilities in Port Hedland.

It also stopped transporting ore along the 426 km railway line from the inland town of Newman to Port Hedland.

52-year-old McLaughlin was conducting maintenance work on a scissor lift when it fell on him, a police spokeswoman said at the time.

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