Company Fined $40,000 for Workplace Accident; Worker Had to Have Toes Amputated after Steel Beam Fell, Crushing His Foot

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Byline: Bruce Mckean bruce.mckean@dailymercury.com.au

A GOLD Coast-based company has been fined $40,000 for a workplace accident at Paget in which a man had one toe and half of another amputated.

The accident happened on February 5 last year at Lotus Lodge, on Connors Rd, when Southern Cross Demolition was preparing a special three-barge pontoon for use by Maritime Services Queensland, the Industrial Magistrate's Court was told in Mackay on Friday.

The three barges were to carry a 33-tonne excavator, which was to be used to dredge or clear sand and mud from waters around Mackay.

To stabilise them, the barges had to be welded together. To prevent the excavator from moving or slipping into the water while it was working large steel beams were being welded around the barges in a land-based operation at Paget.

Two men were doing the job when a third person, Francis Andrew Ryan, entered the site to apparently collect some tools. One steel beam fell and crushed his left foot, causing serious injuries which resulted in the amputation of one toe and half of another.

Southern Cross Demolition Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to ensure a safe workplace. …