Fall prompts Adelaide Brighton safety spend

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19 September 2023

A listed South Australian company has agreed to spend more than $875,000 on safety improvements following a 2021 incident that left a worker with serious head injuries.

Cement and masonry products manufacturer Adelaide Brighton Limited (“Adelaide Brighton”) this month entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with work, health and safety regulator SafeWork SA.

The incident occurred on 10 May 2021 at the company’s Klein Point Limestone Mine on Yorke Peninsula when the worker fell 3.76 metres from a mezzanine level platform onto a concrete floor within the site’s crushing plant.

The worker was undertaking a task while the top and middle edge rails surrounding the elevated fixed platform were removed, creating a ‘live edge’.

The worker fell and sustained serious injuries including a fractured skull and ribs, broken vertebrae, hearing loss and amnesia.

The injured worker has since returned to work and is currently on restricted hours.

Following a SafeWork SA investigation, the workplace safety regulator agreed to enter into an Enforceable Undertaking with Adelaide Brighton on 6 September 2023 as an alternative to prosecution.

An EU is a written, legally binding commitment to implement effective work health and safety initiatives.

These initiatives are designed to deliver tangible benefits for workers, industry, and the community in addition to resolving the issue that led to the EU.

Adelaide Brighton, now known as ADBRI, has agreed to an estimated minimum spend of $876,545 under the Enforceable Undertaking.

This includes funding for activities that will deliver benefits to its workers, the industry and the community.

Activities include:

  • appointing an additional site supervisor at Klein Point Limestone Mine in Stansbury
  • additional training for workers at the mine site
  • purchasing a new specialised rock breaker to assist the injured person’s return to work
  • reviewing height safety at Adelaide Brighton’s Birkenhead and Angaston sites
  • creating a web page to promote a safety campaign on falls from heights
  • hosting a safety forum with industry partners
  • providing funding to improve safety at Stansbury Bowling Club, where the injured person has an association.

Rectifications to the value of $295,153 were made at the Klein Point site prior to the Enforceable Undertaking.

SafeWork SA Executive Director Glenn Farrell acknowledged Adelaide Brighton’s assurance that the behaviour that led to the alleged contravention had ceased and the company’s commitment to ongoing effective management of risks to health and safety.

‘The undertaking commits Adelaide Brighton to actions that are above the minimum standard of compliance,’ Mr Farrell said.

‘I have concluded that an EU is the preferred enforcement option, rather than continuing with prosecution in this case.

‘This is due to the opportunity to provide lasting organisational change within Adelaide Brighton and the implementation of monitored and targeted health and safety improvements that will deliver benefits to workers, industry and the community, which may not be achieved by prosecution.’

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