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$85,000 Fine Over Perth Recycling Worker Crushing Death

A Perth waste recycling company has been fined $85,000 after a worker died when the roof of the picking station collapsed under the weight of a build-up of rubbish.

The debris - mostly masonry plus dirt and sand - accumulated on the roof of the prefabricated hut as two large conveyor belts carrying the recyclable material passed overhead, and was usually cleaned up at the end of the day.

But it had not been done at Resource Recovery Solutions in Bayswater on September 9, 2013, when about 700 kilograms of build-up caused the roof to crash down on the labour hire worker.

Four colleagues escaped unharmed.

"There was no clear system in place to monitor the roof of the picking station and ensure it was kept free of debris, and workers had not been warned of the hazard of a build-up on the roof," WorkSafe acting executive director Chris Kirwin said.

Mr Kirwin said the company had made improvements since the incident.

"The employer has introduced procedures to ensure workers are aware of the hazard and that the roof of the picking station is checked throughout the day.

"The conveyor belts have also been upgraded so less debris is deposited on the picking station roof, which has also been reinforced with steel beams.

"But it would have been practicable for each of these control measures to have been put into place earlier, and it may well have prevented this tragic loss of life."

The company was fined in the Perth Magistrates Court last week and must also pay almost $2500 in costs.


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