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Garbage collection company fined $42K over worker’s head injury

Source: Safe to Work

by: Angela Welsh

Citywide Service Solutions, a garbage collection company, was fined $42,000 after a worker sustained a head injury from a bin lifting arm.

The employee was hit in the head when the 92kg bin lifting arm, which was fitted to a garbage truck, suddenly fell.

The worker sustained serious injuries to his scalp and required approximately 40 stitches. He was out of work for six weeks following the accident, according to hearings conducted by the Heidelberg Magistrates' Court, Victoria.

The incident, which occurred in March 2011, happened when the worker, who was a truck driver, noticed and oil leak close to the garbage truck's bin lifting arm. He called one of the company's mechanics to come and fix the leak.

While the mechanic was repairing the leak on the side of the road, the hydraulic pressure holding up the bin lifting arm was released. This caused the arm to drop quickly, and it struck the driver on the head.

The company pleaded guilty to a couple of offenses; the first of which was failing to provide a safe working environment and proper training to an employee, as required under OSHA (the Occupational Health and Safety Act).

The second offence was for failing to report the accident to WorkSafe. The company's defense to this charge was that it didn't believe it was required to report it because the employee was released from the hospital the same day.

The company was fined $40,000 on the first charge and $2,000 on the second by the court.

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