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Contractor's Fatal Gas Mix-up Results in $100,000 Fine

27 May 2020

A contractor of BOC Limited engaged by South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLD), has recently been convicted and fined $100,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 28(b) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).

During installation of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas pipes into a neonatal theatre in 2016 at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, the contractor failed to undertake the required cross-contamination and gas purity identification testing, even though testing forms were completed advocating as such. This critical failure resulted in the death of one baby and the serious injury of another. 

SafeWork NSW commenced prosecution proceedings against five (5) parties in 2018 for alleged breaches of the Act.

BOC were cleared of charges (SafeWork NSW are considering appeal), SWSLHD entered into an enforceable undertaking to a value of $536,500 with the above mentioned Contractor fined and cases of the two other defendants discontinued for legal reasons.

The event highlighted a myriad of systematic and operational failures in contractor and WHS management, across various duty holders, which sadly resulted in the loss of life and the serious injury of another.

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Source: Safety Solutions