Company fined $50K over workplace incident

A stone supplier has been fined $ 50,000 without conviction following an incident where a 182kg stone benchtop fell on a worker’s foot, resulting in the loss of his three toes.

The company was found guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court of two offences against the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

The company failed to provide or maintain a system of work, and provide training to employees to enable them to perform such work in a way that was safe and without risks to health.

In September 2015, the then 30-year-old stonemason was using an overhead jib crane and lifting attachment to move a heavy stone benchtop. He placed a rag between the lifting attachment’s rubber clamps to protect the benchtop while it was being moved but the benchtop slipped out of the clamp and landed on his foot.

The court heard that using a rag to protect stone slabs while they were being moved was a regular practice in the workplace.

The court also heard that the victim did not receive formal training for using the jib crane.

“It is totally unacceptable for an employer to take shortcuts and compromise safety when moving heavy, awkward objects that can, and do, cause serious injuries,” said WorkSafe Acting Executive Director Health and Safety, Paul Fowler.

“Every employer must provide appropriate training to enable their workers to carry out tasks safely and WorkSafe will prosecute where employers fail to do so.”

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