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In a landmark case for Western Australia, Perth-based Jinning Pty Ltd has been fined $30,000 for failing to monitor lead exposure levels in its Kalgoorlie assay laboratory, leading to severe lead poisoning in four workers.
Details of the Incident
Over a period from August 2020 to March 2022, four workers at Jinning’s laboratory were exposed to dangerously high levels of lead, with one individual requiring hospitalization in Perth after exhibiting a lead concentration of 97.5 micrograms per decilitre in his blood.
This incident, which prompted a WorkSafe investigation, revealed Jinning’s failure to adhere to regulations requiring regular blood testing for employees in lead-risk jobs. The company faced six charges, including two counts of failing to ensure biological monitoring.
Court’s Decision and Impact on Victims
In the Kalgoorlie Magistrates Court, Jinning’s managing director, Tyler Huang, faced scrutiny for his awareness of legislative requirements yet failing to implement necessary safety measures. Magistrate Janie Gibbs, acknowledging the company’s subsequent compliance and investment in safety improvements, still classified the negligence as of a higher level.