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Prosecution Details

Defendant Department of Agriculture
Trading Name Not Applicable
Section 19(1)(e)(i)
Regulation Not Applicable
Offence Date Tuesday, 22 February 1994
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer, failed to make arrangements for ensuring, so far as was practicable, that the use of plant, namely a Gemco drill Model 110A rotary drilling rig, at the workplace was carried out in a manner such that its employees were not exposed to hazards.

Background Details

This prosecution relates to a serious injury. At the time of the accident a series of holes were being drilled on a property in Katanning. The Department of Agriculture provided a consultancy service to farmers to enable better management of the States water resources.

In this case the Department of Agriculture had provided two employees and a drill rig to drill a series of holes to assist the farmer in determining an appropriate site to establish a water catchment dam.

The injured person was clearing away soil with her gloved right hand from an area between two auger sections to remove an auger connection clip when the accident occurred. The auger was still rotating when her hand was severed. Either the right hand glove or the bangle worn on the right wrist, or both, caught on a projection on the auger assembly. The injured employees hand could not be re-connected.

The drilling rig was well maintained and in a serviceable condition. The "D" clip joining the auger sections being cleaned was wrongly installed and this precipitated the unfortunate accident.

The defendant pleaded not guilty.

Lead Image
Outcome Summary convicted
Conviction Date 26 Oct 1998
Court Perth Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $10,000
Costs $4,000
Charge Number 26220/95