Diesel fitter sues former employer after incident

The former employee of a Central Queensland industrial business has alleged a 3.45 tonne steel frame crushed his foot, causing the amputation of two of his toes, skin grafts and more.

A Rockhampton diesel fitter who had his foot crushed and two toes traumatically amputated in a workplace accident four years ago is now suing his former employer for more than $3 million.

Alex Wiliam Heming, now aged 30, has filed a personal injury claim against Joy Global Australia and Entire Recruitment.

Mr Heming was employed by the recruitment agency to work as a diesel fitter at Joy Global’s business, Komatsu Mining in Parkhurst, in Rockhampton in Central Queensland.

The lawsuit, filed by George Cowan of Rockhampton firm Rees R and Sydney Jones Solicitors, claims Joy Global did not provide a safe place of work or safe plant and equipment and that breach caused particular injury.

The Statement of Claim states the alleged workplace injury occurred on July 30, 2018.

Mr Heming claims he was instructed by the leading hand to prepare the workplace to install a flashing shield frame to the side of an underground roof support.

Mr Heming described the frame as a solid steel structure in a triangular shape and it weighed 3.45 tonnes.

Mr Heming said he spent several hours preparing the work area for the fitting of the frame to the support.

The frame, according to Mr Heming, was sitting on timber pallets and had to be lifted by a mobile into place.

Mr Heming states he and three other employees attached chains to the frame.

The frame lifted unevenly and had to be lowered to readjust, Mr Heming alleges, and when doing so, the frame rolled forward and fell on his left foot.

As a result of this, Mr Heming claims he suffered a compound crush injury to his left foot and ankle, multiple joint fractures, traumatic amputation of the fourth and fifth toes, soft tissue loss and soft tissue injury including nerves, tendons, ligaments and muscles and had to undergo multiple surgeries.

He also claims he sustained sensory loss in the left forearm as a result of skin graft.

Mr Heming claims he has been left with “unsightly scarring” of the left forearm and left foot, scarring on the left thigh, loss of sensation of the left forearm and hand and has a stiff left ankle.

He claims he has difficulty walking in bare feet and has to wear shoes, suffers a limp when he walks and has difficulty going up and down stairs, running and walking.

Mr Heming did work for a short period in 2019 but has been unable to return to his pre-incident line of work since.

He is claiming a future loss of wages of $1.5 million out of a combined $3.073 million in the Statement of Claim.

The claims for damages include expenses for medications, doctors appointments, aids and equipment, physiotherapy, modified shoes and more.

A final offer has been submitted on behalf of Mr Heming and no defence has been filed.

Source: Courier Mail

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