Dec 14th 2021
Vic business fined after tank container fire
A Victorian industrial equipment supplier has been fined $41,500 for safety breaches following a tank container fire at Derrimut in 2019.
The company was sentenced in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to three charges of breaching work health and safety laws.
The court heard that in May 2019, a third-year apprentice and another worker were undertaking refurbishment works in an ISO tank, which had been used to hold diesel.
An oxygen-acetylene torch was used to cut into the tank’s internal walls, and as work continued, flames were noticed on the floor.
One worker managed to escape, but the apprentice fell, hitting his elbow and sliding to the bottom. The apprentice was pulled out by the other worker.
WorkSafe was not notified of the incident, but the following month, inspectors visited the workplace after an anonymous tip-off.
WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer said employers know the dangers of working in confined spaces.
"Poor ventilation, toxic gases and fire are just some of the risks that can be faced when undertaking this kind of work," Dr Beer said.
"Employers and supervisors have to be on high alert when it comes to the safety of their workers in confined spaces, and clear and comprehensive procedures and proper training and instruction need to be provided."
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