Workplace injury sparks controversy in Western Australia

Date: Dec 17, 2012

A man was recently injured in Perth while working on the Gorgon project in Dampier, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) reports.

His arm was crushed between the dock and a barge in Dampier, prompting the MUA to call for an independent enquiry into the safety of the Gorgon project.

This incident occurred at the Mermaid Marine Supply Base, with Mermaid a contractor working for the energy company Chevron.

MUA Western Australia secretary Chris Cain said that this is not the first time Chevron has been associated with negligent health and safety practices, accusing the company of “cutting corners” to save time and money.

“It’s becoming clearer and clearer that Chevron and their contractors like Mermaid are cutting corners to make up time and money on the Gorgon project,” Mr Cain asserted.

“They haven’t even finished cleaning up the environmental damage from their barge at Cervantes, and they’ve got a worker being crushed at Dampier.”

Worksafe investigators visited the Mermaid Marine Supply Base the day before the man caught his arm between the dock and barge, but they did not find any problems.

Now that a worker has been injured the MUA is calling on Worksafe to once again review the base and help to ensure the safety of other employees.

“We’ve got a [sic] serious issues when the day after Worksafe says there’s no problem, ambulances are called to an accident of the type exactly predicted by health and safety representatives,” Mr Cain said.

“Worksafe is supposed to be the cop on the beat. We need a proper independent enquiry into this, to make sure it never, ever happens again.”

MUA organiser Mark Brien believes that “negligent management” is behind these injuries and refers to the contractors and energy companies as “cowboys”.

“These cowboys need to be held to account – life-changing injuries are happening because of negligent management,” Mr Brien alleged.

“They don’t provide the training, they pretend safety hazards aren’t real and then when an injury occurs, they try to cover their tracks.”

While this issue is unfolding in Western Australia, NSW residents may want to know that there are lawyers in Sydney that can help people who are having similar problems at work.

Our lawyers can assist you in making a claim for compensation, and operate on a no win no fee basis – meaning that you do not have to pay for their services unless your claim is successful.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.