Mining giant fined after injury

Rio Tinto Alcan has been fined nearly $200,000 after a worker fell into a pool of highly corrosive liquid.

Rio Tinto Alcan has been fined nearly $200,000 after a worker in the Northern Territory recently slipped and fell into a pool of highly corrosive liquid.

In March this year refinery worker Fred Rowe received burns to close to 25% of his body when he slipped and fell in the pool at the Alcan Gove refinery after a safety walkway was removed due to maintenance.

It is the fifth time since 2006 that the refinery in northeast Arnhem Land has been involved in a serious workplace accident, two of which were fatal.

Rio Tinto Alcan pleaded guilty to violating the Mining Management Act, which saw the company’s fine reduced to $185,000 from the maximum $270,000 that the offence can carry.

The fine was not the first for the Alcan Gove refinery.

It was fined $315,000 in 2006 after a worker was killed after falling into a rotary air heater while conducting maintenance work.

Also in 2006 Rio Tinto Alcan was convicted and fined $175,000 after a worker suffered burns to 60% of his body.

The company also pleaded guilty to breaching the Mining Management Act in 2007 after an accident involving a spraypainter who died when he fell from an elevated platform.

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