Rasta Kemp: Young father died in timber factory accident after his clothes got entangled in conveyor belt
Rasta Kemp, 24, was killed in May 2018 while unloading timber from a conveyor belt in a mill in Australia
BENALLA, AUSTRALIA: A timber company has been fined in connection with a fatal accident in which a young father became entangled in a conveyor belt before being impaled in the machinery.
Rasta Kemp, 24, was killed in May 2018 while unloading timber in a Benalla timber mill in north-east Victoria.
Rasta Kemp's clothes became entangled in conveyor belt
According to 7News, the father's clothes became entangled in a conveyor belt mechanism, dragging him along until he was impaled on a metal pallet known as a stillage used to store materials.
WorkSafe Victoria discovered that D&R Henderson, the timber company, could have avoided the accident by covering the conveyor belt.
D&R Henderson didn't instruct employees about the risk
"Investigators found it would have been reasonably practicable for the company to instruct employees about the risk of becoming entangled on the rotating shaft, where to position themselves to avoid this, and to contact a supervisor to arrange repairs if the belts came off the conveyors," WorkSafe said.
D&R Henderson pleaded guilty to two charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in Melbourne County Court on Thursday.
Company fined $350K over Rasta Kemp's death
The company was fined $275,000 for failing to maintain safe and risk-free work environments, and $75,000 for failing to provide workers with information, instruction, and training to enable them to perform their jobs safely and risk-free, as reported by ABC.
Rasta Kemp's death could have been avoided
According to WorkSafe executive director of health and safety Narelle Beer, Kemp's death could have been avoided if proper safety measures had been in place, as reported by DailyMail.
She said, "Employers and duty holders must do everything they can to eliminate or reduce the risks to workers from moving machinery, including guarding or physical separation and instructing workers in their safe operation."
She added, "WorkSafe won't hesitate to prosecute duty holders who fail to provide and maintain a safe workplace."
WorkSafe stated that the labor hire company Recruitment Select Pty Ltd had previously been fined $50,000 for providing the worker to the timber processor.
It pled guilty to a single charge of failing to provide and maintain a safe working environment.