Company fined $60,000 after workers injured in explosion

Ministerial Media Release | 01/12/2017

A chemical distribution company in Sydney’s west has been fined $60,000 for failing to protect its workers after they were injured in a worksite explosion and fire, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said today.

Judge David Russell fined AUSCHEM (NSW) Pty Ltd in the Sydney District Court this week after it pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of two 63-year-old men at their Wetherill Park workplace.

Mr Kean said SafeWork NSW took the company to court after a chemical explosion sparked a workplace fire in February 2015.

“The explosion left one of the men with burns to his stomach, shoulder, right arm and hand, and the other with cuts to his head that required stitches,” Mr Kean said.

“The SafeWork investigation revealed a lack of workplace procedures about how best to safely transfer thinners between containers, which ultimately led to the explosion and fire that left these workers with serious injuries.

“Working with these sorts of volatile chemicals is inherently dangerous, so AUSCHEM should have been far better prepared.

“It’s absolutely imperative that safe working systems in this sort of workplace are fairly and squarely in place, and consistently followed.”

Last year SafeWork NSW successfully prosecuted 32 offenders and issued 130 penalty notices.

The company has 28 days to lodge an appeal.

View a PDF version of this release.

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