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Prosecution Details

Defendant Westgroup Pty Ltd
Trading Name Not Applicable
Section 19(1) [1] and 19(3) [2]
Regulation Not Applicable
Offence Date Thursday, 9 October 1997
Description of Breach(es)

[1] Being an employer failed, so far as was practicable, to provide and maintain a working environment in which its employee was not exposed to a hazard in contravention of section 19(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and by that contravention caused that employee serious harm.

[2] Being an employer of an employee, who at a workplace incurred an injury that is of a kind prescribed by regulation 2.4(1)(b) and (e) of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996, failed to forthwith notify the WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner in the prescribed form giving such particulars as are prescribed.

Background Details

The defendants' workplace was a landfill site situated in Hazelmere and processed the recycling of concrete into fines and aggregate. Part of this process involved moving material on a large conveyor, known as the picking belt. Two employees were working on the picking belt removing items when the conveyor belt started to track incorrectly. At times there was a problem with mud on the conveyor. The mud built up on a roller and caused the conveyor belt to track incorrectly. At the time of the accident the injured employee was attempting to clean the roller, a job that may be performed once or twice a day.

The injured person was cleaning the roller with a piece of wood, when it became caught in the nip point and jammed his hand between the wooden implement and the conveyor belt. The movement of the conveyor dragged his arm into the conveyor up to his shoulder, his front teeth hit the roller in the process and were chipped. His right arm suffered a broken humerus bone and nerve damage.

The photograph shows the guard to this region that had been removed earlier that year.

Since the accident the screen has been replaced, a metal scraper has been installed, a warning sign has been erected and staff have been instructed not to go near this area of the plant while it is running.

The defendant pleaded not guilty. The penalty was imposed under section 19(7) and 19(8) respectively.

Lead Image
Outcome Summary convicted
Conviction Date 22 Oct 1999
Court Midland Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $4000 [1]; and $1000 [2]
Costs $365
Charge Number 7198/99 [1] and 7199/99 [2]