In­ves­ti­ga­tion into fa­tal abat­toir ac­ci­dent re­veals

The Western Star - - Front Page - JORJA MCDON­NELL jorja.mcdon­[email protected]­ern­starnews.com

WORK­PLACE Health and Safety

Queens­land in­ves­ti­ga­tors have re­leased de­tails sur­round­ing the tragic death of Jimmy Le, who died in a hor­rific ac­ci­dent while on the job at West­ern Meat Ex­porters in Charlevill­e. The in­for­ma­tion comes ex­actly three months af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched.

DE­TAILS of the death of Charlevill­e abat­toir worker Lê Tu n Nhã, also known Jimmy Le, have been re­vealed by Work­place Health and Safety Queens­land, three months on from the tragedy.

In a state­ment, they said he was crushed while man­u­ally han­dling goat car­casses, af­ter a con­veyor belt which would nor­mally feed them into a ‘de-hairer’ ma­chine stopped work­ing.

“In July 2019, a worker was crushed to death when man­u­ally han­dling goat car­casses,” the state­ment read.

“He was trapped by a hy­drauli­cally op­er­ated stain­less-steel bucket.

“A con­veyor belt moves and loads car­casses into a hy­drauli­cally op­er­ated stain­less-steel bucket. Once the bucket is loaded, it raises up and tips the car­casses into a ‘de-hairer’ ma­chine.

“The con­veyor belt stopped when the ‘de-hairer’ feeder ma­chine failed, and work­ers man­u­ally un­loaded car­casses into the stain­lesssteel bucket.

“The worker was stand­ing in the bucket when it un­ex­pect­edly be­gan to raise.

“As the 46-year-old at­tempted to step out of the bucket, he slipped and be­came wedged un­der a steel lip on the ma­chine.

“The bucket dropped to its ‘home’ po­si­tion, crush­ing the man across the up­per torso and stom­ach area.”

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have been run­ning an in­quest into the 45-year-old’s death since the in­ci­dent oc­curred on July 29, and it is still on­go­ing.

In the days fol­low­ing Mr Le’s death, tributes poured out from the com­mu­nity of Charlevill­e, and a memo­rial ser­vice was held at Gra­ham

An­drews Park.

“There is a sad­ness through our town,” Mur­weh Shire mayor An­nie Lis­ton told the West­ern Times in the days fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent.

“I ab­so­lutely give my con­do­lences to the fam­ily and friends of every­one around them, every­one’s strug­gling with this. Even peo­ple who didn’t get to know him are feel­ing for the fam­ily, and are here to sup­port them.”

Paramedics were called to the abat­toir at 1.08pm on July 29, and it was con­firmed that Mr Le had died two hours later.

West­ern Meat Ex­porters is the largest goat abat­toir in Aus­tralia, and pro­cesses tens of thou­sands of an­i­mals each week.

Pic­ture: File

DE­TAILS RE­VEALED: Jimmy Le died fol­low­ing a work­place ac­ci­dent at West­ern Meat Ex­porters, Charlevill­e.

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