Kilmany tip operator is fined $45,000 after fall

A KILMANY tip operator has been convicted and fined $45,000 after a woman was seriously injured when she fell 2.5 metres into a skip bin in November, 2018.

Towards Zero Pty Ltd pleaded guilty last Thursday in the Sale Magistrates’ Court to failing to ensure people other than employees were not exposed to risks to their health and safety. The company was also ordered to pay $1875 in costs.

The court heard skip bins at the Kilmany Resource Recovery Centre and Landfill were located beneath elevated concrete platforms where users could park their vehicles and drop waste into the bins.

A woman in her 60s had been unloading green waste material from the back of a utility when she slipped and fell between two guard rails as she was climbing down from the vehicle’s tray.

She landed on the bottom of a skip bin, fracturing several ribs and injuring her spine.

Local police, ambulance, SES and CFA attended the tip, which temporarily closed.

The woman was flown by air ambulance helicopter to the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, in a stable condition.

At the time, a council spokesperson told the Gippsland Times the woman was in good spirits.

A WorkSafe investigation found that guard rails had been moved to widen the gap between them at the edge of the platform, leaving enough space for a person to fall through.

There was also no instruction directing users how to dispose of waste safely.

WorkSafe executive director of health and safety Julie Nielsen said the injured woman was lucky to be alive after falling more than two metres.

“Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of injury and death in Victorian workplaces, and these risks should always be taken seriously,” Ms Nielsen said.

“Every employer must consider the dangers of unguarded edges or steep drops and take every reasonable step to reduce risks to the health and safety of workers and the public.”

Towards Zero Pty Ltd was approached for comment.