$130,000 fine over horror carpentry injury

A Melbourne carpentry business has been fined $130,000 after an apprentice suffered a horrific head injury at work.

A 75cm nail penetrated the young man’s skull and went 20mm into his brain.

The young worker and a colleague were working on either side of a doorframe when the more experienced of the pair fired a nail gun in March 2021.

The steel rod went straight through the structure and into the young man’s head.

He spent a week in hospital after it was surgically removed but now lives with discomfort and has a permanent scar.

Earlier in the day, the same colleague threw an electric saw towards the apprentice.

He suffered a deep cut to his hand but kept working after it was bandaged.

The incidents happened while the apprentice worked for Topline Carpentry South East, which failed to report both accidents to WorkSafe.

All but one nail gun had been taken away when the regulatory body later went to inspect the site.

The Langwarrin business has been found guilty of eight breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, including obstructing an investigation.

In addition to the $130,000 fine, it must also pay costs of more than $5700.

The experienced worker involved has been fined $500 with no conviction for throwing the saw and must also pay $1000 in costs.

WorkSafe executive director Narelle Beer said she was appalled at what happened.

Source: The Standard

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