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Western Sydney company fined after man crushed in workplace incident

Western Sydney company fined after man crushed in workplace incident

A Yennora company and its director have been fined $87,500 after a worker was crushed by quartz slabs, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said.

Modern Touch Marble and Granite Pty Ltd, and its director Johnne Khouri, pleaded guilty in the Sydney District Court to failing to ensure the company complied with its health and safety duties, and undertaking high risk work without a licence.

Khouri was operating a fork-lift, without the required high-risk licence, in October 2015 to move quartz sheets from a shipping container.

His then 20-year-old employee from Belfield was preparing a sheet to be moved by the fork-lift, when 6440kg of unsecured quartz sheets fell on him.

“This poor worker suffered serious crush injuries to his chest as well as broken ribs, when he was trapped between the quartz sheets and the shipping container,” Mr Kean said.

“Khouri absolutely had a duty of care to his worker but he failed to conduct any risk assessment or identify hazards that could have prevented such a terrible injury from happening.

“Every worker, particularly those who are young and possibly entering the workforce for the first time, has the right to expect they’ll be protected from this sort of incident.

“My priority is making sure that every worker who heads off to work in the morning returns home safely to their family at night.”

In sentencing Khouri and Modern Touch, Judge Andrew Scotting said Modern Touch and Khouri failed to consider the risk of a crush injury, despite it being foreseeable.

In sentencing, Modern Touch was fined $75,000 and Khouri $12,500.

Last year SafeWork NSW successfully prosecuted 34 offenders and issued 218 penalty notices. Khouri and Modern Touch have the right to lodge an appeal.