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Prosecution Details

Defendant J.V. Engineering (WA) Pty Ltd
Section 19(1) and 19(7)
Offence Date Monday, 19 April 2004
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer failed, so far as was practicable, to provide and maintain a working environment in which its employees were not exposed to hazards and by that contravention caused serious harm to an employee; contrary to sections 19(1) and 19(7) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

The Defendant operated a business from its workshop in Welshpool. The business welded and fabricated large steel tanks for use in the mining industry.

On 19 April 2004 a First Class Welder was employed by the Defendant . The employee's duties were to weld, clean and grind metal materials. He was not a qualified rigger or dogman, and had not been trained to select the appropriate equipment, technique and points by which to lift and move the tanks manufactured by the Defendant.

On 19 April 2004 the employee's supervisor instructed him to move a large asymmetrical metal tank that had been manufactured by the Defendant. The supervisor did not give him any instructions as to how he should move the tank, what equipment or which attachment points on the tank he should use. The supervisor did not tell the employee that the tank had a lid on it. The supervisor then left him to move the tank.

Earlier that day the employee had seen the supervisor move the same tank by using a two leg chain assembly attached to one of the overhead cranes in the shed. The employee used a two-leg chain sling assembly to move the tank using an overhead crane in the shed in the same way that he had seen the supervisor move it earlier that day.

The tank had a lid on it of about 1 metre in diameter, 32 millimetres in thickness and 300 kilograms in weight. The lid was on the tank when the supervisor moved it earlier that day.
While the employee was moving the tank and it was suspended in the air by the crane it tipped to one side and the lid fell onto his left hand and left foot.

The employee was taken to Royal Perth Hospital. As a result of the lid falling onto him the employee suffers and it is likely will continue to suffer:
a. pain in his left foot;
b. partial amputation of his left foot;
c. disfigurement of his left foot;
d. disablement as a result of inability to properly use his left leg below the knee, ankle and foot;
e. pain in the middle finger on his left hand;
f. disfigurement of the middle finger on his left hand; and
g. disablement as a result of inability to properly use the middle finger on his left hand; and
h. loss of the proper use of his back.

The Defendant pleaded guilty.

Outcome Summary Convicted
Conviction Date 19 Sep 2005
Court Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Perth
Fine $25,000
Costs $648.45
Charge Number 28001/05