February 16, 2023
Allied Pinnacle Pty Ltd was sentenced in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court of Australia last week after pleading guilty to failing to provide or maintain systems of work that were, so far as was reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health. Worksafe, Victoria's workplace health and safety regulator, and the workplace injury insurer, said the company was also ordered to pay costs of $4,151.
The court heard that on the day of the incident a silo capable of storing 10 tonnes of grain screenings was blocked.
Following several unsuccessful attempts to unblock the silo, the worker entered a multi-level shed that provided access to the silo. As the worker attempted to clear the blockage, grain surged into the shed, trapping him. It was later estimated that two tonnes of grain screenings had exited the silo.
Emergency services extracted the worker, who was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Reportedly at the time of the incident, Allied Pinnacle had no safe operating procedure to prevent the entrapment or suffocation of workers attempting to dislodge silo blockages.
WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer said there was no excuse for companies that failed to have safe systems of work in place.
"It shouldn't take an incident like this for an employer to develop and implement procedures that can save someone's life," Beer said. "Employers must make every reasonable effort to eliminate or reduce any risks to health and safety at their workplaces and WorkSafe will continue to prosecute companies who fail to do so."
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