Manufacturing News

Metalworking firm fined $60k over serious workplace injury

Maddington boilermaking and metal fabrication company G & G Mining Fabrication has pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the provision of a safe workplace under a labour hire arrangement.

The company was fined in the Armadale Magistrates Court on Thursday for the failure which caused serious harm to a worker.

In September 2007, the injured worker was employed under a labour hire arrangement as a welder to, among other duties, weld large mining vehicle water tanks.

On the day he was injured, the worker was engaged in welding a component of a large (45,000 litre) water tank.

There was no adequate mechanism used to hold the tank component in place while it was being welded, as chains connected to an overhead gantry had been removed before welding began.

Consequently, the component toppled onto the worker, causing serious crush injuries and leaving him without the use of his legs.

Acting WorkSafe Director Joe Attard said today the case should serve as a reminder that both host employers and labour hire companies had a responsibility to ensure workplaces were safe.

“Host employers have an obligation to ensure the workplaces in which workers are placed are safe and healthy, something that clearly did not happen in this case,” said Attard.

“The court heard that the welding practice used was inherently dangerous, as it relied heavily on the tank component remaining in place without any support.

“It was practicable for the employer to have ensured the component was supported during the welding work, but the required safe system of work was not implemented.

“Both parties to a labour hire arrangement need to be aware of the responsibilities they have in ensuring that workplaces are safe for the workers sent to host companies by labour hire providers.”

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