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Steel bar pierces worker’s skull

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Steel bar pierces worker’s skull

Steel bar pierces worker’s skull

A company has been fined $120,000 after a worker’s skull was pierced with a steel bar.

The 18-year-old worker was operating an excavator on a demolition job in August 2013 when the incident occurred. As he filled the excavator’s sifting bucket with concrete and steel, a steel bar flew into the cabin of the excavator, pieced his skull and penetrated 10cm into his brain.

SafeWork NSW investigated and found that the excavator was operated with the glass front screen open—and that the supervisor had observed the worker operating the excavator with it open prior to the incident but failed to instruct the operator to close it.

The company, NMK Pty Ltd, was prosecuted in the District Court of New South Wales (NSW), found guilty and fined $120,000 for breaching the NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

“The risk of an excavator operator being struck by a flying object and the need to shut the front safety screen during excavation is widely known and understood within the demolition and excavation industry,” executive director of SafeWork NSW (formerly WorkCover NSW), Peter Dunphy said in a media statement.

“Fortunately the worker did not suffer a significant brain injury as a result of the incident but the outcome could have been very different.”

For more details, visit SafeWork NSW

Published on 22 October 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today.

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