August 16, 2010 | Mark Paradies

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: Mine Worker Gets 8 Month Sentence in Fatal Accident in Australian Mine

A man operating a loader accidentally crushed another worker. He was prosecuted for breaches of the Australian Mining and Quarrying Safety and Heath Act 1999.

He was found guilty and given a sentence of 8 months in prison (suspended) and a fine of $13,437.70 to pay for investigation and court costs. The article said that, “Neither the SSE nor the Operator nor Contractor were charged.

To read more about the accident, see:

http://www.sparke.com.au/sparke/news/publications/wrse_publications/qld_first_mining_employee_sentenced_to_imprisonment.jsp

Here are the “key messages” from the lawyer in Australia that wrote the article:

Ensure you have a robust health and safety management system, regardless of your industry.  It needs to be documented and it needs to be followed through, so the reality of what you do matches what’s contained in the documents.

Employers need to be able to demonstrate that employees are trained in and understand the system.  If employers can show that and something goes wrong, they are in a defendable position. It also minimises the possibility of things going wrong.

Take swift action when employees do the wrong thing.  If an employee breaches the safety system, do not hesitate to take severe action against them. In other words, employers should be considering discipline and termination. Courts view such breaches very seriously, and so should employers.

What do you think?

Were the root causes discovered?

Were all the lessons learned that should have been learned?

Would you be sure that this accident won’t happen again?

How would you approach this accident?

Leave a comment here about your approach to this accident. And then think about …

Would you be ready for a fatality investigation at your facility?

Would you know how to handle all the aspects (including police issues) of a fatality investigation?

Perhaps you should consider attending the pre-Summit Course:

A Police Inquiry into a Death
in the WorkPlace – Corporate Responsibility

P1010805 P1010807

UK TapRooT® Instructors Alan Smith and Mhorvan Sherret, the Directors of Matrix Risk Control (UK) Ltd, and former senior Detectives, provide a course that will help you prepare for the worst by participating in realistic police interviews and investigation scenarios. It’s a great chance to get prepared just in case something bad ever does happen.

This course is only offered in the US just prior to the Summit and attendance is limited, so sign up today.

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