Karara Mining fined for safety breach

Perth magistrates Court handed down a $40,000 fine to Karara Mining yesterday after they pleaded guilty to failing to provide a safe working environment.

The sentence related to a worker, Agostino Martino, who was injured while working at the Karara processing plant in May 2013.

Martino was struck in the face by a scaffolding tube during maintenance work, replacing a broken spreader bar on a screen box.

Martino suffered a fractured jaw and other facial injuries.

Department of Mines and Petroleum State Mining Engineer Andrew Chaplyn said the investigation revealed serious safety flaws that contributed to the incident.

“Our investigation found that the work was being done with inappropriate equipment that put workers at risk, the manufacturer’s instructions were not followed, there was no safe work procedure and the Job Hazard Assessment (JHA) was not compliant with site requirements,” Chaplyn said.

“While the injuries suffered by Mr Martino were serious, the incident had the potential to cause much more severe consequences.

“This is why it is important for companies and workers to always consider their safety responsibilities.

“There were some relatively simple steps that could have been taken that would have ensured Mr Martino was not exposed to the hazards that caused his injuries.”

Chaplyn said failure to adequately review tasks to identify hazards and control the risks was a recurring problem.

“This decision sends an important message around ensuring safe systems of work are developed, supervised and enforced by companies,” he said.

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