Karara Mining fined $40,000 for safety charges

Karara Mining Ltd has been fined $40,000 after pleading guilty to failing to provide a safe working environment.

The sentence, handed down in Perth Magistrates Court on yesterday, was in relation to an incident where a worker was injured in 2013.

On 25 May 2013, Agostino Martino was working for Karara when he was struck in the face by a scaffolding tube during maintenance work at the processing plant.

Mr Martino suffered facial injuries, including a fractured jaw, during work to replace a broken spreader bar on a screen box at the plant. In handing down the decision, Magistrate Joe Mignacca-Randazzo took into account the company’s early guilty plea.

Department of Mines and Petroleum State Mining Engineer Andrew Chaplyn said the investigation by the department’s inspectors revealed serious safety flaws that contributed to the incident.

“Our investigation found that the work was being done with inappropriate equipment that put workers at risk, the manufacturer’s instructions were not followed, there was no safe work procedure and the Job Hazard Assessment (JHA) was not compliant with site requirements,” Mr Chaplyn said.

“While the injuries suffered by Mr Martino were serious, the incident had the potential to cause much more severe consequences. This is why it is important for companies and workers to always consider their safety responsibilities.

“There were some relatively simple steps that could have been taken that would have ensured Mr Martino was not exposed to the hazards that caused his injuries.”

Mr Chaplyn said a failure to adequately review the task to identify hazards and to control risks was a recurring problem.

“This decision sends an important message around ensuring safe systems of work are developed, supervised and enforced by companies,” Mr Chaplyn said.

“In this case, Karara has failed to provide and maintain a working environment where Mr Martino was not exposed to hazards.”

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