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                        2 min read

                        “Informal” safety system leads to serious spinal injury and $150,000

                        “Informal” safety system leads to serious spinal injury and $150,000

                        Tunny Pty Ltd – a car wreckage and used parts seller – and its sole director Aidan Arthur Waring have been fined $120,000 and $30,000 respectively following a 2019 incident that resulted in a worker being struck by a one-tonne truck tray.

                        Both parties offered early guilty pleas of breaching multiple sections of the NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and as a result received 25 per cent discounts off their fines.

                        Tunny was convicted of contravening sections 19 and 32, while Waring admitted to breaching section 27 of the Act, in failing to exercise due diligence to ensure Tunny complied with its section-19 duty of care. 


                        What happened?

                        The incident took place at Tunny’s Lake Munmorah site in NSW in June 2019. At the time, two employees were loading the dismantled tray of a flatbed truck onto a shipping container.

                        The wheel loader used to move the tray had been modified and fitted with pallet forks, slip-on fork extensions and a slip-on jib attachment. In addition, chain slings and a grab hook were also used.

                        The tray was lifted and suspended on its side, however afterwards the hook became detached and the chain gave way. As a result, the one-tonne tray fell and knocked a worker to the ground in the process. He suffered serious damage including sustained fractures to his spine and ribs and along with internal injuries.

                        What went wrong?

                        Whilst Mr Waring was the sole director of the Tunny and had owned the business since 1978, he retired to Tasmania in 2014. In his absence he left the management of his company with his nephew. 

                        NSW District Court Judge David Russel found:

                        • The company had no formal safety policies in place.

                        • Mr Waring had adopted a completely ‘hands-off’ approach to running Tunny and made no attempt to exercise any due diligence to ensure the company complied with its safety obligations.

                        • Tunny had not conducted a risk assessment for lifting the tray using the loader or for using the modified loader at all, meaning it had no safe work procedure in place.

                        • Tunny did not ensure the equipment was suitable to lift and suspend the tray, implement any exclusion zones, ensure the injured worker had appropriate qualifications for rigging and dogging, or provide proper training or supervision.

                        • The chain sling and hook arrangement used did not comply with the relevant Standard.

                        For more information on this incident please visit the NSW District Court case summary.

                         

                        Be safe, not sorry

                        Safe systems of work are implemented to prevent serious incidents such as the above. Failing to ensure the safety of your employees comes with significant penalties both financially and legally. There is no room for complacency when it comes to safety and compliance. 

                         

                        Check your level of risk TODAY

                        Since 2004, Plant Assessor has helped thousands of companies assess and improve their safety systems for machinery, plant and equipment. 

                        We have an easy to use self-diagnostic tool, Machinery Safety System Health Check, designed to help people who use plant and machinery understand how solid their safety systems are. 

                        Our comprehensive self assessment will provide you with a clear picture of how complete your systems are, and help you prioritise the areas you can improve the most in.

                        Use our FREE tool to:

                        • Identify safety gaps and risks

                        • Diagnose your level of compliance 

                        • Know where to improve

                        We urge you to take the test today and get a better understanding of your machinery system’s health before it’s too late.

                        Machinery Safety System Health Check

                         

                        Here to help

                        If you would like some help with your system diagnosis, machinery risk assessment or any other plant and or safety concerns, contact the Plant Assessor team on 1300 728 852 or info@assessor.com.au.

                         

                        Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.

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