News, OH&S News, Safety

Worker fatally buried in former quarry

A 47-year old man died and another was taken to hospital with serious abdominal injuries after the workplace accident at the BINGO Industries-operated waste disposal facility in Eastern Creek on 27 May.

The 55ha recycling and landfill plant opened in 2012 and is the largest in the southern hemisphere. The site is a former hard rock quarry that was excavated down to 150m and has a capacity of 12.5 million cubic metres.

When the accident occurred, the two men were reportedly sorting waste material before a bulldozer – which was shifting large amounts of waste – struck and buried them in heavy materials.

"The machine pushed them into the waste material, making them very hard to locate," SafeWork NSW executive director Tony Williams told the ABC.

The BINGO Industries operation processes construction and demolition waste, including steel, concrete and timber, as well as whitegoods. This made the conditions hazardous for rescuers.

The injured man was rescued and taken to Westmead Hospital but the second was fatally crushed under tonnes of rubbish for a further 15 minutes before rescuers reached him.

Williams told the ABC the driver of the bulldozer had undergone drug and alcohol testing and SafeWork inspectors had been on site to interview witnesses.

Safety advice

A SafeWork NSW spokesperson told Quarry the incident was a reminder that workers should be cautious around moving machinery.

“SafeWork reminds businesses to ensure that safe systems are in place to manage the risks of working near mobile plant,” she said. “SafeWork NSW is investigating an incident at Eastern Creek that occurred on Monday, 27 May where a worker was killed and another seriously injured. Investigations are ongoing. A report will be prepared for the Coroner.”

Dial-A-Dump (DADI) Industries originally operated the $300 million recycling and landfill site but it merged with BINGO Industries earlier this year. DADI acquired the land in 2006, and since 2012 has developed it into a “state of the art” construction, demolition and commercial waste recycling and recovery centre and landfill known as Genesis.





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