Company fined after chainsaw injury

A man at a Laverton North steel mill was rushed to hospital following a gory workplace accident. But the man’s employer told a court it wasn’t ultimately its fault the man was hurt.

One of Australia’s biggest recruiters has been fined thousands of dollars after an employee was injured in a gruesome workplace accident in Melbourne’s outer west. Tad Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Adecco, faced the Werribee Magistrates’ Court on Monday where the company pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment following the gory incident in 2018.

WorkSafe Victoria’s Jonathan Manning told the court three men, employees of Tad, were contracted to work at the The Australian Steel Company in Laverton North in June 2018 where they were asked to cut down trees.

The men removed 13 trees and were working on a further three when the chainsaw one man was using jammed and kicked back, causing him to lose control of the tool, which fell and sliced into his colleague’s leg, the court heard.

The man suffered a large gaping wound and was rushed to hospital where he required surgery, Mr Manning told the court.

Tad faced a fine of up to $396,000 under workplace safety legislation, he said.

Tad’s lawyer Carmen Currie told the court the men weren’t trained to use a chainsaw, but at least two of them had prior experience using one.

The steel mill was responsible for onsite training, she said, and, while pruning plants using basic handheld tools was part of the men’s agreed day to day job description, felling trees using a chainsaw was not among the tasks Tad had hired the men out to the steel mill to do.

She said the steel mill was ultimately responsible for the accident, as were the men, who failed to tell Tad they’d been asked to complete a task outside of their contractual arrangements.

“Ultimately (the steel mill) is the one that’s responsible that they have the proper training and induction for the tasks that they have,” Ms Currie told the court.

“What’s happened is out of the ordinary, they’ve been asked to do a task that is out of scope.”

The injured man had since returned to work full time on light duties.

And Ms Currie told the court Tad was a longstanding labour hire operator in the area for 22 years and had no prior convictions for workplace safety breaches.

The steel mill had also previously pleaded guilty to charges related to the incident and had received a fine without conviction, Ms Currie told the court.

Magistrate Mike Wardell fined Tad $20,000 without conviction and ordered the company pay WorkSafe’s $3000 court costs.

Source: Herald Sun

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