WA: Company Fined $90,000 After Worker Injury

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
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A WA-based mineral processing company has been fined $90,000 after a worker was seriously injured in 2012.

Process Minerals International Pty Ltd, the operator of the Woodie Woodie treatment plant 400km southeast of Port Hedland in the Pilbara, was fined after pleading guilty to two charges of failing to provide a safe working environment.

The Department of Mines and Petroleum laid charges after an investigation found Process Minerals failed to provide a procedure for workers to safely unload pipes from a truck.

On October 31, 2012, Meliton Garcia was seriously injured when he was struck by one of the one-tonne, 20m-long polyethylene pipes he and another worker were unloading from a truck.

The pair were rigging the pipes to a crane before they were unloaded.

Mr Garcia was struck and swept off the stack of pipes, falling about 4m.

Department of Mines and Petroleum director of mines safety and state mining engineer Andrew Chaplyn said there was a genuine risk workers could have been killed in the incident.

“It was only luck that the consequences were not much worse,” Mr Chaplyn said.

“It is incidents such as this that provide a stark reminder for industry to take the risk of fall from height seriously.

“In this case, the workers were not provided with a safe system of work and were unnecessarily exposed to a serious hazard.

“This decision sends an important message about ensuring safety is given the highest priority on WA’s mine sites.”

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