Bundaberg man Sean Scovell died at South Moranbah Quarry in June 2012.
Bundaberg man Sean Scovell died at South Moranbah Quarry in June 2012.

Company director sentenced over CQ quarry death

THE director of a quarry company has received a suspended jail sentence over a workplace death in Moranbah.

Queensland’s Industrial Court has imposed a suspended period of imprisonment on the director of a quarry operator company, regarding the death of Sean Scovell at South Moranbah Quarry in June 2012.

The 21-year-old Bundaberg man was killed after he became entangled in a running conveyor belt.

Resource Safety Health executive director Mark Stone said the sentence was for breaching obligations under mining safety legislation.

The company director must not commit another offence punishable by imprisonment within a period of three years otherwise he may go to prison.

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“This was a terrible incident in which the worker sustained fatal injuries while performing maintenance on an operating conveyor,” Mr Stone said.

RIP SEAN: Bonnie and Brett Scovell from Biggenden with the canvas prints of their beloved son Sean Scovell. Picture: Rose Hamilton-Barr / Central & North Burnett Times
RIP SEAN: Bonnie and Brett Scovell from Biggenden with the canvas prints of their beloved son Sean Scovell. Picture: Rose Hamilton-Barr / Central & North Burnett Times

“The court found there were multiple failures that lead to Mr Scovell’s death, including a failure to ensure the relevant part of the conveyor was protected by a guard; a failure to ensure workers were properly trained in operating equipment; a failure to properly commission or risk assess the plant; and a failure to ensure proper supervision of workers, including the deceased.”

In handing down the decision, Industrial Court president Justice Glenn Martin said the consequence of the incident was particularly severe.

“A man lost his life in dreadful circumstances, the legislation is designed to alleviate the risks to workers as much as is practicably possible,” Justice Martin said.

Mr Stone said the sentence of imprisonment recognised the seriousness with which the law regarded the safety and health obligations employers owed their workers.

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“This decision highlights why industry must keep worker safety and health front of mind. I hope it deters the behaviours and decisions which led to the failures identified by the court that cost a man’s life,” he said.

“The vision of the resources safety and health regulator is zero serious harm and we have zero tolerance for unsafe worksites and practices.”


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