Saxon Energy Services Australia has been convicted and fined $210,000 for an incident that left two workers injured on a drilling rig platform.
The incident happened in 2013, when the employees were working on Rig 188 in the Cooper Basin. The workers became trapped between two pieces of plant after another operator inadvertently remotely extended the hydraulic arm of one machine.
Both workers sustained multiple injuries and have been unable to return to similar work.
Saxon Energy was convicted in the South Australian Industrial Court.
Magistrate Stephen Lieschke said more than one person had been able to remotely control the same piece of equipment.
Lieschke found that all reasonable precautions were to protect the workers from the powered plant when drilling holes were not taken.
“The risk of injury arising from its flawed system of controlling powered plant was readily foreseeable and identifiable,” he said.
“The risk had very serious consequences for two skilled employees, and put them at some significant risk of death.”
The initial fine of $350 000 was reduced due to Saxon Energy’s early guilty plea.
SafeWork SA acting executive director Dini Soulio said the case highlighted the need for all business operators to identify foreseeable risks to health and safety, and implement control measures to eliminate or minimise them.