Contractor fined for apprentice injury

ATS Mining Maintenance has been fined $90 000 for an accident in which an apprentice was permanently injured.

The Kalgoorlie company pleased guilty for failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment and by that failure, causing serious harm to an employee, according to The West.

The 15 year old apprentice, along with two other employees, was carrying out maintenance on a Cat dump truck in February 2007.

The truck’s ten tonne tray was raised during repairs, but metal harden bars rather than safety pins, were used to hold the tray.

When the heavy duty fitter started the truck to check for any oil leaks, he was unaware the apprentice was still underneath the tray.

The metal bars holding the tray broke, forcing it to come down on him and causing significant injuries.

The apprentice suffered serious facial fractures, as well as lacerations and leg and back injuries.

West Australian worksafe commissioner Lex McCulloch labelled the case shocking, saying it was a reminder of the importance of having lockout and tagging procedures in place.

"In this case, manuals detailing the relevant safety procedures for performing maintenance on the truck, including the need to use appropriate isolation procedures, were available at the workplace," McCulloch said.

"But the employer did not ensure that they were followed as a matter of course, and a young employee suffered a permanent injury because safe work procedures were not enforced."

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