Business cops fine after workplace explosion

Ministerial Media Release | 17/11/2017

A Wagga Wagga business and its director have been fined $200,000 after a man suffered severe burns in an explosion at a Tatton property.

A Wagga Wagga business and its director have been fined $200,000 after a man suffered severe burns in an explosion at a Tatton property.

The 47-year-old victim's injuries meant he had to undergo extensive medical treatment, had experienced difficulty walking, and had lost movement in his hands, Sydney District Court was told.

Judge David Russell ordered CRS NSW Pty Ltd to pay a $160,000 fine, with its director Jay Jenkins, 40, fined $40,000 over the July 1, 2015 incident.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the victim was an innocent bystander who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"This man approached Jay Jenkins from a neighbouring property just as Jenkins was using a handheld LPG gas torch to soften bitumen," Mr Kean said.

"The bitumen was contained in a vehicle being used to seal a driveway, but an investigation by SafeWork NSW found Jenkins had modified the vehicle and made it unsafe.

"His dodgy actions led to an explosion and fireball, and had a shocking effect on another man's life."

The company and the director pleaded guilty to breaching the Work Health and Safety Act (NSW).

They have 28 days to appeal against the sentences.

Mr Kean said Jenkins not only endangered others, but himself.

"Let this be a warning to other NSW businesses - the NSW Government takes workplace safety seriously and if you break the law, then we'll be coming after you."

View a PDF version of this release.

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