||Issue No. 313||30 June 2006|
Interview: Rock Solid
Industrial: Eight Simple Rules for Employing My Teenage Daughter
Politics: The Johnnie Code
Energy: Fission Fantasies
History: All The Way With Clarrie O'Shea
International: Closer to Home
Economics: Taking the Fizz
Unions: Stronger Together
Review: Montezuma's Revenge
Poetry: Fair Go Gone
The Locker Room
Dare To Dream
Better Get A Lawyer
The Last Laugh
Hardie Busted Over Burn Victim
The worker was clearing a blockage in a pump when hot sludge cement burst from a hose, spraying the worker's face, eyes, nose, mouth ears, arms and hands.
The worker sustained very severe burns and was transferred to Westmead Hospital and then the Concord Burns Unit. He was unable to return to work for several months and eventually left the company.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union successfully prosecuted James Hardie in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission where the company was found responsible for the horrific burns.
Justice Staunton of found James Hardie guilty of breaching the Occupational Health & in April 2003Safety Act, imposed a fine of $98,000 and awarded costs against James Hardie.
"Despite the seriousness of injuries to this worker, WorkCover did not prosecute the employer, James Hardie. The Union did," said state secretary of the AMWU, Paul Bastian. "Unfortunately this is not an isolated case.
"At a time when some employers and governments are questioning the role of unions, this case demonstrates the crucial role that unions have in ensuring workplace safety."
"It also shows that it is essential for unions to have the ability to prosecute employers who put the safety of their workers at risk".
Under controversial NSW moiety provisions, half the Hardie fine will go to the AMWU for OH&S education.
Workers Walk Over Bolts From Above
Meanwhile, in the Queensland town of Chinchilla, AMWU members are quitting their jobs at Queensland's biggest electricity construction project over safety concerns.
AMWU organiser David Fyffe said workers are faced with falling metal objects every few days at the Kogan Creek power plant at Chinchilla on southern Queensland's Western Downs.
Fyffe said there have been three accidents already and he is worried more workers could be hurt.
"Unless those issues are addressed adequately, somebody is going to be seriously hurt or even killed."
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