Occupational Safety and Health – Getting Burned Twice

In the Update Don’t Play with Fire published on 25 July 2015 we discussed the outcome of the case of Canny v Primepower Engineering Pty Ltd and Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd [2015] WADC 81, from a negligence and an insurance perspective.

However, at the time of writing, the story had not quite come to a close. The final chapter (for the employer at least, as Mr Canny continues to deal with his injuries) was written on 9 December 2015 in Kalgoorlie, when the employer was fined $80,000 plus $6,000 for costs under the Occupational Safety & Health Act (WA) 1984 in respect to the incident in which Mr Canny suffered burns to 61% of his body.

The employer pleaded guilty to injuring an employee by failing to provide and maintain a safe workplace. WorkSafe WA was quoted as saying “It seems that Primepower management actually encouraged the apprentices in their hazardous actions, facilitating the attempts to seize the engine that resulted in terrible injuries to one of the apprentices” and that “A young apprentice was exposed to a serious hazard when the employees should have been instructed not to pour or spray flammable substances into the air intake of the engine, and this instruction should have been enforced by management”.

For more information on this paper or any insurance issue please contact Stephen Williams on (08) 9321 3755.

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