Bombardier fined for workplace injury

Train builder Bombardier Transportation Australia Pty Ltd has been fined $20,000 after a worker was crushed in its Dandenong South factory.

The company pleaded guilty at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on Monday 20 June to a charge of failing to provide safe systems of work.

In January 2018, the worker was crushed as he was unpacking a 750-kilogram crate of glass panes, the court heard.

The manufacturer’s instructions stated that the crate was to be opened from the front side, with the main weight of the glass leaning against the back of the crate.

However the crate was positioned back-to-front while rested on an inclined L-frame stillage.

As the worker began to open it, the glass panes onto his leg and hip.

He was trapped underneath, suffering two pelvic fractures.

WorkSafe argued at court that it was reasonably practicable for Bombardier to have a formal process in place to ensure the crates were loaded and unloaded correctly.

After the hearing, WorkSafe health and safety acting executive director Adam Watson said duty holders must do everything they can to keep their workers safe when handling heavy loads.

“When it comes to the loading and unloading of crates, employers must ensure formal processes are implemented, understood and followed,” Mr Watson said.

“If crates are positioned the wrong way, or are opened from the wrong side, it exposes workers to the risk of crush injuries. In this terrible case we’ve seen that risk eventuate.”

Bombardier was ordered to pay $7503 costs, on top of the fine.