Contractor fined for arc flash incident

Contractor Crushing Services International has been fined after a work was seriously burned in an arc flash incident.

CSI was fined $60,000 after pleading guilty to exposing an employee to a hazard, after being charged for failing to ensure electrical equipment under their control was adequately maintained.

The incident occurred in November, 2013, when CSI electrician Daniel Blaess was replacing components in a switch room at Atlas Iron’s Wodgina iron ore mine.

“The electrical equipment cubicle had no barrier preventing contact with live terminals and Mr Blaess was exposed to live electrical conductors,” Department of Mines and Petroleum Mines safety director and state mining engineer Andrew Chaplyn said.

Blaess reportedly suffered serious burns from the incident and could have been killed.

“It is extremely important to ensure that there is sufficient and effective supervision for the installation, maintenance and testing of electrical equipment at mine sites,” Chaplyn said.

“This incident had the potential to kill and is a stark reminder of the importance of electrical safety across mining operations.”

This is not the first time CSI has faced court over work safety.

In 2014 the contractor was fined $115,000 for the death of a worker at Fortescue Metal’s Christmas Creek iron ore mine.

Worker Kurt Williams was greasing a motor when he was fatally crushed by a ladder attached to a tripper unit at the top of the mine’s ore processing facility.

Questions surrounding work practices at the mine site were immediately raised following Williams’ death after it was revealed he was working alone on night shift.

Following an investigation, the Department of Mines and Petroleum charged CSI for failing to provide a safe working environment.

The company pled guilty to the charge and had its fine reduced from $225,000 as a result.






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