$250,000 fine for highway worker's death

A GOSFORD company has been fined $250,000 and ordered to pay WorkCover’s legal costs after a man was crushed to death roadworks south of Forster.

Coastal Asphalt and Civil Constructions Pty Ltd was one of a several companies upgrading a stretch of highway known as The Lakes Way, Boolambayte in January 2010 when the incident happened.

A 31-year-old labourer employed by the company to help lay asphalt was crushed when he was run over by a three-tonne multi-wheeled roller. 

The man was helping the operator of the heavy vehicle by using a hand-held spray can filled with diesel to periodically remove asphalt stuck to the roller. He was spraying the stationary roller when the operator accidently released the brakes, causing the vehicle to lurch forward and rolled over the man.

NSW Finance and Services Minister Greg Pearce said a WorkCover investigation found Coastal Asphalt had failed to properly train or supervise the man, who was only on his second day of employment with the company.

Coastal Asphalt and Civil Constructions Pty Ltd was the company convicted of an offence under section 8(1) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and fined $250,000 plus court costs by the Industrial Court of NSW in December 2012.

* In an earlier version of this article the wrong company was named. WorkCover NSW deeply regrets the mistake, which came about through a clerical error.

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