Managing director fined after worker loses arm in horrific workplace accident

Duncan MurrayNCA NewsWire
The director of a recycling plant where a worker’s arm was torn off at the socket has been handed a $70,000 fine over the incident.
Camera IconThe director of a recycling plant where a worker’s arm was torn off at the socket has been handed a $70,000 fine over the incident. Credit: News Corp Australia

The managing director of a recycling plant where a worker’s arm was torn off at the socket has been handed a $70,000 fine over the incident.

Salvatore Tomo Mangione, managing director of Resource Recovery in Bayswater, Perth failed to provide and maintain a safe work environment, a magistrate ruled on Monday.

WorkSafe Commissioner Darren Kavanagh noted the company had a history of “flouting workplace safety laws” including telling authorities the plant was fully automated and did not require workers present.

In January 2016, a labour hire worker’s arm was amputated at the shoulder when it was caught in the crush point between a conveyor belt and a roller.

The man had been working as a “picker”, to manually remove unsuitable items from conveyor belts and clear blockages.

On the day of the incident, a blockage had been cleared and the belts had been restarted when the worker reached in to remove a rock that was dragged into the crush point.

There was no guarding around the conveyor belt or lockout tag out procedure in place to isolate moving machinery when removing blockages, the court found.

As managing director, Mr Mangione was found to have neglected his duty of implementing changes which would have prevented the incident.

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Camera IconThe worker’s arm was torn off at the shoulder after being caught between a conveyor belt and a roller while trying to clear a blockage. Credit: News Corp Australia

The company, Resource Recovery Solutions, was fined $230,000 in April this year over the incident for failing to maintain proper safety standards, having successfully appealed a $330,000 fine in 2020.

It’s not the first time the company has had a run in with safety regulators, including after the 2013 death of a worker who was crushed after an overloaded roof panel fell on him.

Another worker suffered a broken arm in February 2015 when his arm was dragged into a moving conveyor belt.

“WorkSafe inspectors visited the workplace and found that numerous conveyor belts were not guarded,” Mr Kavanagh said.

“They were reassured that the plant was fully automated and workers were not present when the plant was running.”

Perth magistrate’s court found the company could have implemented enforced safety measures, including an interlocking system to restrict access to the belt, as well as a monitoring system to detect blockages of the belt.

It was also found workers at the company had not been provided with sufficient information on hazards, formal instruction and training or direct supervision by a supervisor.

“Mr Mangione neglected to implement the changes required to make this workplace safe for workers, and he has been penalised accordingly today,” Mr Kavanagh said.

Originally published as Managing director fined after worker loses arm in horrific workplace accident

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