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Dennis Jones Engineering, along with its director Dennis Jones, has been fined a total of $2.1 million following an incident where a 20-year-old apprentice suffered severe head injuries after being struck by a steel pipe.
Details of the Incident
In October 2021, the apprentice was instructed to use a plastic sleeve to thread a steel pipe on a lathe machine at the company’s Gippsland location. The pipe bent and whipped, striking the apprentice in the head, leading to serious injuries. He was airlifted to the hospital and placed in an induced coma.
A WorkSafe investigation concluded that Dennis Jones should have known about the risks associated with the task and failed to implement necessary safety measures, such as fixing covers to the lathe machine. This negligence led to the serious injury of the apprentice.
Court’s Decision and Impact on Victims
In the Victorian County Court, Dennis Jones and his company pleaded guilty to recklessly engaging in conduct that placed a person in danger of serious injury and failing to provide or maintain safe systems of work. Consequently, the company was convicted and fined $2.1 million, while Jones received a $140,000 fine and a five-year community corrections order with 600 hours of community service.