Wetherill Park company fined $60,000 after workers injured in explosion

A chemical distribution company in Wetherill Park has been fined $60,000 for failing to protect its workers after they were injured in a worksite explosion and fire in 2015.

Judge David Russell fined AUSCHEM (NSW) Pty Ltd in the Sydney District Court last week after it pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of two 63-year-old men at their workplace.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said SafeWork NSW took the company to court after a chemical explosion sparked a workplace fire in February 2015.

“The explosion left one of the men with burns to his stomach, shoulder, right arm and hand, and the other with cuts to his head that required stitches,” Mr Kean said.

“The SafeWork investigation revealed a lack of workplace procedures about how best to safely transfer thinners between containers, which ultimately led to the explosion and fire that left these workers with serious injuries.

“Working with these sorts of volatile chemicals is inherently dangerous, so AUSCHEM should have been far better prepared.

“It’s absolutely imperative that safe working systems in this sort of workplace are fairly and squarely in place, and consistently followed.”

The company has 28 days to lodge an appeal.