Business fined after steel tube hits unlicensed forklift operator

SafeWork NSW prosecuted a Penrith metal tubing manufacturer after a worker was seriously injured while loading a steel coil into a machine.

Trans Vent Spiral Tubing Pty Ltd was on Monday fined a total of $90,000 in the District Court of NSW for two charges under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

In January 2017 the worker was using a forklift to load steel coils into a machine, despite not having a forklift licence.

He picked up the coil with a forklift tine and then left the forklift to manually inspect whether the coil was at the right angle to fit into the machine.

The 350 to 400 kilogram coil fell on his left leg causing a broken tibia and fibula.

Executive Director of Investigations and Enforcement for SafeWork, Valerie Griswold, said it is essential to have a safe work method in place to avoid situations involving uncontrolled and unsecured loads.

“These coils are very heavy and become a serious danger when they’re in the air,” Ms Griswold said.

“However, the risk could have been eliminated with adequate safe work planning.

“One way to avoid having an unsecured load is to use a jib or sling and ensure only workers with a valid high-risk licence can operate a forklift.”

Trans Vent Spiral Tubing has 30 days to appeal the decision.

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